by Editor (Editor's Desk, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 5, Sha'ban, 1434)
Nelson Mandela will no doubt go down in history as one of the towering figures of the 20th century. Looking at the situation in South Africa, some observers ask whether apartheid has truly ended since social and economic apartheid is still in place even if the Black majority has gained the right to vote.
As this issue of Crescent International was going to press, news about Nelson Mandela’s deteriorating health filled the airwaves. The 94-year-old former South African president has been in poor health for sometime. While we wish him and his family well, human beings have to surrender to the Will of the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer (swt). Death is an integral part of life.
Far more important is the legacy of Nelson Madela, icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, who spent 27 years in prison for opposing it. Ultimately he won freedom and brought an end to apartheid in South Africa. Without doubt, he will go down in history as one of the towering figures of the 20th century.
How would history judge Mandela? Many observers of the South African scene believe that while political apartheid has ended, social and economic apartheid is still in place. Looking at the empirical evidence, one finds much truth in this. Despite the Black Empowerment Program, the white bosses that dominated commerce and industry during the apartheid rule are still ensconced. They have simply put a black person in front while retaining their privileges. Western multinationals including Zionist-owned conglomerates continue to dominate the economy as they did during the apartheid era.
There is mass poverty among blacks and many of them lack proper housing, water and sanitation. Apartheid must not be viewed merely as a race issue but also as a social and economic issue.