Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka, has urged South Africans to rise and rescue the country from the chains of corruption.
According to a 2021 Afroborometer survey, South Africans see corruption as worsening under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration. While government has put various measures in place to fight the scourge, many South Africans remain concerned that graft is deeply embedded in the country with some political leaders and business players prepared to kill to protect their financial interests in the public sector.
However, Ndileka, a social activist and the founder of Thembekile Mandela Foundation, says not fighting for the health of this country – would be a grave mistake for all South Africans.
“The generation of pre-democracy took the streets and made sure that the system changes. Imagine if that generation did not do that. We would still be locked in apartheid. So I would like to say that we would be a failed generation if we do not fight against corruption in our country,” she says.
She was speaking at the launch of the new banknotes and coins that went into circulation today.
The upgraded banknotes have enhanced security features to combat counterfeit generation of the currency.
They also continue to honour the legacy of Ndileka’s grandfather, who was South Africa’s first democratically elected president and whose legacy continues to inspire many across the world.
Mandela’s eldest granddaughter also joined the chorus of those who have been calling for the review of the nation’s Constitution, saying the document has widened the country’s inequality gap and in most cases, does not serve the interests of ordinary South Africans.
The social activist says while certain aspects of the Constitution remain valid, certain aspects do need a tweak.
She believes the Constitution is a living document and its contents do not need to be static but should be amended to fit the democratic context.
Ndileka says she believes this is what her her grandfather would have wanted as together with his comrades did what was best for their era when they signed off the document in its current form.
“I don’t believe that he meant for it to never be interrogated. And I believe that leaders lead within a certain context. Our Constitution spoke to the context of pre-democracy. Specifically when it comes to our prison laws, I think we need to dig deep. You get the prisoners like the Besters of this world. You get the man who killed Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was an (ex) offender and (yet) was employed in a public institution – the post office, which shows you why we now need to interrogate the Constitution.”
Information on the changes in the banknotes and coins below:
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena