(FT Weekend Magazine) Desmond Tutu talks about God, Syria, the Mandela legacy and other matters

Soon after Mandela took office, Tutu chided him for increasing MPs’ salaries and for not closing down the apartheid arms trade. When Mandela accused him of being a “populist”, he hit back, typically, though, tempering his attack with an affectionate critique of Mandela’s colourful shirts. Tutu had made his point. The ultimate pastoral interventionist was not going to let Mandela’s stature inhibit him from speaking his mind. To the irritation of the ANC he would retain his independence.

As the ANC became rather accustomed to the perks of power, so his critiques sharpened. In 2004 he lamented that only “an elite few” had reached the “promised land”. Just four months ago, he said that he would no longer vote for the ANC, citing inequality, violence and corruption as among the reasons for his loss of support. When I ask for his current thinking on the party, he turns to “a lovely quote in Isaiah”.

“”˜Look to the rock from which you are hewn.’ We were hewn from a rock of people who were ready to lay down their lives for freedom”¦ We have very many good things that are happening but you long for us to remember why we were in the ­struggle and what kind of South Africa we would love to see. We have accomplished a part of the dream”¦ and some things subvert that dream.”

Read it all (if necessary another link may be found there).


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