Thousands gathered in Soweto’s enormous stadium for a lively memorial service celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life yesterday but much of the news focused on the behaviour of the attendees rather than on Madiba’s legacy.
The memorial event was overshadowed by the crowd’s hostile reaction to South African president Jacob Zuma, a historic handshake between US and Cuban leaders and shameless selfies as western leaders hogged the limelight. In a surreal turn of events, it emerged that the man interpreting the proceedings live on television for deaf viewers was a hoax.
Here are some reports and analysis on the significance of the day and the high jinks in the audience. Read more
The “exclusive” footage by SABC, South Africa’s state broadcaster, was rich in content as the country’s top leaders chuckled to the background of clicking and flashing cameras.
There was President Jacob Zuma, his shirt undone at the neck, looking relaxed and carefree. His deputy in the ruling African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa, appeared equally jovial and casual.
But there was one major problem – the centrepiece of the clip, Nelson Mandela, looked anything but happy. Rather, the revered former liberation leader and South Africa’s first black president stared vacantly into the distance, frail and apparently unaware of the commotion around him.
The result was the unseemly spectacle of a bunch of politicians parading themselves around an old man lauded as a national treasure, causing a storm of outrage to erupt on social media.
Ursula Lindsey portrays the breakdown of law and order in Cairo, where activists “dream of more revolution, of the same giant peaceful crowds and sudden, improbable change of two years ago. But all they seem ready to offer is ‘awareness-raising’; the poor are well aware of their predicament, and the Islamists will be distributing food and gas canisters.”
Police surround fallen miners near the Marikana platinum mine on August 16 (AFP/GettyImages)
by Ruona Agbroko
Mining has always been a dangerous business. But the tragedy that unfolded last month in Marikana, South Africa, threw a new and harsh light on the lives of those who spend their days toiling in the dark. On August 16, 34 workers were killed and 78 were wounded when police opened fire during clashes over pay at a platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. The violence evoked painful memories of state brutality during the apartheid era, and prompted a debate around how much progress the country has made in tackling inequality. As South Africa produces about 80 per cent of the world’s platinum supply, the unrest continues to spook global commodities markets, pushing up platinum prices and dragging gold futures up too. Three weeks after the killings, crisis resolution talks have restarted, but will they succeed? And what will be the long term legacy of Marikana? Read more
Gideon became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections.
His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation
Comment by Felix Drost And another article confirming my maligned post from 9 days ago http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/776c7c6a-2782-11e4-ae44-00144feabdc0.html
Comment by jens777 And people will keep on suffering if things are not changed since lack of reform is exactly what the corrupt elite wishes for in a society where people only live well if they can get their hands on Go …
Comment by WendellMurray Why, yes, the USA government and its pathetic sidekick, the UK government, will continue to do what they seem to be only capable of: exacerbate a bad situation to make it even worse! Of course, as Mo …
Comment by citizen1949 I just cannot comprehend the reason why not all the countries concerned about freedom are not part of the recipe for a solution to discourage evil in the world.
Comment by ny10001 Well,your conclusion is what is in store for Turkey: Rough ride.How could you expect statesmanship from a person whose 12 year of agenda has been totally opposite...He has divided the country by racis …