The response to Mandela’s death has been nothing short of exceptional. To me it has been exaggerated.
At various places in Australia, for example, people were invited to reflect with a minute’s silence – I don’t recall this being offered when Margaret Thatcher passed away.
There is no doubt that Mandela suffered, and he showed a great capacity to forgive. His relationship with F.W. de Klerk aided the transition from apartheid.
But beyond that, what is his legacy? South Africa remains poor and corrupt. Brutal killings and tribal wars threaten its stability.
Mandela could not influence the path that South Africa has embarked. A country with much potential is going backwards. Jacob Zuma and his government seem to be modelling South Africa into a second Zimbabwe.
Let’s celebrate the memory of Mandela, but don’t exaggerate his importance in world affairs. Mandela was no Churchill.