An open letter to all South Africans, in particularly those working in the government:
In Zelda la Grange’s book, Good Morning, Mr Mandela, she told how, during a visit of the then former president to the King of Bahrain hoping to raise money for his charities, some expensive toiletry items were removed from Nelson Mandela’s rooms.
These toiletries were provided for all guests, but someone had helped themselves to some items belonging to President Mandela, while he was attending meetings.
The thief did not know that Madiba had taken note of every item in his bathroom before leaving for the meetings.
On returning to the hotel, Madiba called all the security staff into a meeting where he lined them all up, as he intended getting to the bottom of the matter.
Nobody confessed, but the next morning the stolen items were back in place. The thief had heard Madiba. The former president did not object to staff taking home gift toiletries from their own hotel rooms, but not from his.
When he left Bahrain, he didn’t take any of the expensive items from his bathroom and left them untouched and unopened.
Zelda says in her book: “He never wanted to take advantage of our hosts and he expected everyone to behave that way.”
The message is clear: many leading Members of Parliament, municipal managers, etc, who steal sometimes millions of rand from our budgets, had better be prepared. After their deaths, they will be meeting the greatest African of all time, where they will be lined up and asked to account for their actions.
Yes, you can laugh now and deny that it will ever happen.
But when Nelson Mandela looks into your eyes, you will confess and, by then, you have no chance to correct what damage you have done to the economy of South Africa and to the hungry, poorly educated children of this once great country.
* Richard Stewart, Linmeyer.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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