The miracle of South Africa: a democratic culture centered on civic values ​​- Cocuyo Effect

Sweet Yumar

The death of the South African religious leader Desmond Tutu at the end of last year he brought to the fore what could be called: the miracle of South Africa, of which he was the protagonist as well as Nelson Mandela. Both were militants against the apartheid that kept this country under the hegemony of racism, expressed in the control of the lives of all black citizens.

At 76, Mandela became the first black president of that country in 1994, after fighting for it since he was a law student, and later obtained a law degree. He was arrested and prosecuted on several occasions, he was a member of the National Party, but he also built bridges to other political sectors, and he became temporarily interested in Marxism. At the beginning of the 1960s, he was tried again, accused of treason and was imprisoned for 27 years. He went out to negotiate politicsnot to take revenge. He practiced civil disobedience, and was influenced by Gandhi, who spent several years in South Africa, and advocated nonviolent struggle.

The president of the white minority in office Frederik de Klerk was one of the actors in the negotiation, he managed to see the enemies as opponents, for this reason he promoted general elections, which were won by the African National Congress led by Mandela, whom he had decided to free from prison. And he begins to abolish the racist laws. He is one of the guests at the inauguration of the new government, which ends apartheid, for which he also wins the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He is also the Vice President of the interracial government that results from the agreements reached, for two years .

Tutu was 13 years younger than Mandela. Despite this, she was his confidant, visiting him in prison on several occasions. This religious became Bishop and his high hierarchy protected him from discriminatory violence. He was a pacifist, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, but was involved in the fight against racism and even said: If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, it is because you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Mandela appointed him chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Justice and Reconciliation process during Mandela’s presidency began with a political negotiation, and with the formation of a government of integration with other parties, and a new Non-racist constitution. The Truth Commission revealed the violation of the human rights of black citizens, and it worked in such a way that it has become a world example of transition. In the same year of the beginning of his administration, Nelson Mandela receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

The united strength of the union

However, parallel to discrimination, a kind of social process of liberating identity construction, on the moral plane, of repressed black citizens was taking shape. This was consolidated throughout the repressive history of apartheid, which was based on the alleged racial superiority of Western whites, who prevented black citizens from accessing education, land ownership, and health services. , whom they considered inferior and only objects of production.

In this liberation of the oppressed, centered on a communal philosophy, the expression was held as an axiom: You are, therefore I am. It is a maxim of empathy with others, who are considered equal and who should be subject to ethical treatment based on these civic values: compassion, generosity, gratitude, honesty, magnanimity, understanding, solidarity, and forgiveness.

According to this, the options that a person has before life do not depend on race. The civil rebellion started from a liberating humanism. A person is a person through the coexistence of her with the others. What someone achieves as an achievement is not a threat to others, but complements them in the power that union gives, the only way to free us all. The force of love is an impulse of unsuspected wealth. This philosophy is called Ubuntu in the African language.

In the networks you will find classic and moving examples of how the Ubuntu is rooted in the community, including children, and how it operated in the face of the dramas of Truth Commission. In the first case, an anthropologist proposes a competition to some children: whoever wins the race will win a sack of fresh fruit. Surprisingly, all the children hold hands and run together. So everyone is a winner and enjoys the prize.

In 1996, in the court of the Truth Commission, among many others, the drama of an old woman who violently lost her entire family is presented: a son and her husband. The defendant was a security agent and has been tried, in a process published by radio and tv. He is on the bench with other guards. The elderly victim speaks and narrates that this man came to her house one day and shot her son point-blank, who was later cremated. She later goes to look for her husband and they disappear for two years. She remained without news. Then the defendant looks for her and takes her to the edge of a river where she finds him handcuffed, and tortured to the brink of death in front of a bonfire. The man only manages to say before dying cremated in front of her: forgive him, Lord.

The accused has accepted his crimes and when they ask the old woman what she wants to be done with him, she says: -Let him take me to the river to collect my husband’s ashes to bury him. That he become my family, my son, since I have no one, and that he visit me frequently. That is why I want you to allow me now to approach you, hug you and forgive you. Impressed by what the victim said, the perpetrator falls unconscious in the middle of the act, while the public sings a song that expresses the power of forgiveness.

It is assumed that with these actions a kind of dignifying catharsis is achieved for the victims, who begin to have a voice and exercise a moral power to forgive and make the perpetrators people again. Due to these achievements and the changes generated, of such an unusual dimension in the political and human fields -which implied work, risks and pain of all kinds, a full expression of this culture-, Tutu ended by saying that his country was now: The rainbow nation, while Mandela became the Father of the south african nation.


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From the same author: Emmanuel Macron, a Europhile strategist

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The miracle of South Africa: a democratic culture centered on civic values ​​- Cocuyo Effect