Although he was imprisoned for nearly three decades, including 18 years on desolate Robben Island, it was not retribution and revenge that Nelson Mandela sought when he became president of the newly democratic South Africa in 1994, but reconciliation.
And now, nearly 20 years after the end of a brutal and racist apartheid regime, Mandela’s legacy as an icon of freedom and democracy is being tested, as the leaders and citizens of his native country decide how to carry forward his ideals amid a host of problems.
“Forget about what happened pre-1994, the issue is what happens now,” said Xolani Gwala, a radio host and journalist at the South African Broadcasting Corp., in an interview with ABC News correspondent Rob Nelson in Johannesburg.
“Mandela will remain a towering figure and an amazing influence across South Africa,” said Gwala. “Mandela and others were about reconciliation and nation-building. The legacy is still there, but how do you make sure it continues into the future toRead More »from South Africa Grapples With Nelson Mandela’s Legacy