Nelson Mandela's Great-Grandson Talks Russia-Africa Relations & Palestine-Israel Conflict
15:48 18.11.2023 (Updated: 15:49 18.11.2023)
The great-grandson of the late South African anti-apartheid leader and former President Nelson Mandela arrived in Moscow earlier this week to participate in the VII International BRICS School program, which is being held in Moscow from November 13-18 under the auspices of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Russia was a steadfast ally during South Africa's struggle for liberation, with it playing a pivotal role in providing support and resources during the anti-apartheid movement, which cemented a deep bond between the two nations, said South African socio-economic analyst Mayibuye Mandela, the great-grandson of former President Nelson Mandela.
"Russia was there for us. It armed us. It armed South Africa for us to win the struggle. And we are here today not to forget it. They don't ask about, 'Oh we did this during the struggle for liberation for South Africa. So what are you doing for us?' They say, 'No, we are still here as your friends'," he told Sputnik Africa in an interview.
Mayibuye stressed that Russia's approach to African countries has always remained the same. According to him, Moscow has supported many African countries without asking them to reciprocate.
"It [Russia] has never oppressed any African countries, it has never stolen gold, it has never stolen diamonds, it has never stolen from Africa and has not oppressed us. But it has been there for us, not in a rhetorical capacity. They are placing resources for us," he argued.
Mayibuye further elaborated on the enduring nature of the constructive relationship
between Moscow and Pretoria, both members of the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, reflecting on the absence of visa requirements for his ongoing visit to Moscow as part of the BRICS International School 2023.
The young Mandela expressed a desire to strengthen economic ties and hinted at the possibility of a unified currency among the BRICS nations in the face of Western attempts to undermine the BRICS economies.
Addressing concerns about Western attempts to isolate Moscow from the international community in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Mayibuye predicted that the West - particularly the United States - may attempt to isolate Russia as well as other countries of the Global South, including African countries, over perceived geopolitical differences and prevent the emergence of a new global order.
He expressed skepticism about Western narratives and underscored the potential for global shifts in power dynamics, highlighting the vast resources found in Africa.
"We will be isolated. They will say, 'These people are dictators, these people are doing this and this and this.' In South Africa, movies that we watch are movies that come from Hollywood. The propaganda that we see there is extremely not 'Ayoba' [Cool]. So the outcome is that the world… Not the world, actually, because America is not the world. The West will isolate itself, and then it'll be poor after that because we have the resources," Mayibuye said.
Mayibuye Mandela also commented on the ongoing escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, following an attack by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israel's retaliatory attacks and total blockade of Gaza
, which has resulted in the loss of more than 12,000 Palestinian lives and the displacement of the local population.
The young Mandela called for the arming of the Palestinians and advocated the relocation of traumatized Palestinian children to safehavens in other countries, including South Africa.
While acknowledging that his views might be contentious, Mandela emphasized the historical context of South Africa's struggle for liberation and the role of arming resistance forces in achieving freedom.
Drawing parallels to uMkhonto weSizwe (MK)
, the former armed wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), and the support it received during the anti-apartheid movement, Mayibuye suggested that arming Hamas and the Palestinian people could lead to their liberation from what he described as Israel's oppressive actions.
"The Palestinian people need to be armed so they will be able to liberate themselves," Mayibuye shared. "As long as the evil Israel does not feel any pinch, the ears of their authorities won't [hear] anything. The world has been trying to talk to them, has been saying all over the world they've been trying to talk to them. They don't understand that language. So probably, and I believe the language there in the Middle East that the Israelis will understand is arming Hamas."
According to him, the ANC before the formation of MK "was a peaceful organization, and they were not going to be liberated, until they fought themselves, they carried arms, and then they shot the enemy."
The South African socio-economic analyst argued that diplomacy has proved ineffective
in solving the decades-long Palestine-Israel conflict, just as during the anti-Apartheid struggle in his country.
In addition to advocating for the arming of Hamas, Mandela called on the international community to provide assistance to traumatized Palestinian children. He proposed building camps and creating safe spaces for the children and suggested that other countries, including South Africa and Russia, should offer refuge to alleviate the trauma experienced by Palestinian children in Gaza.
"They're going to grow up under trauma. They are traumatized. No one wants his child to be traumatized the way that they are. They can't go to school. We have the responsibility as the world to go and fetch those children to be in a safe space," Mayibuye concluded. "Let's try and liberate the children out of trauma."