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Do Not Lose Track Of Mandela's Ideals - Rawlings
 
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30-Oct-2013  
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Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has in an interview with the SABC said it is important for those who President Mandela fought for to seriously examine themselves and get back on track with what he stood for.

President Rawlings said President Mandela had done a lot for humanity and “I don’t think we should lose track of what he stood for.

“What could be going so wrong for Desmond Tutu who fought for so long to end apartheid to say he wont vote for the ANC? It is important we examine ourselves and get back on track with what Mandela stood for,” President Rawlings said when he spoke to the South African broadcaster on Thursday.

The former Ghanaian President said he hoped President Mandela recovers. “I would wish that we could hear him sometime some day soon. He has done a lot for humanity.”

Answering a question on democracy, President Rawlings said he was a firm believer in democracy but stated that a democracy that is not built on justice and freedom cannot survive.

The former President said development cannot take place without the recognition of the principles of social justice. All the perceived development in Egypt and Tunisia, he said, lacked something if they were to end up in the Arab Spring revolt.

“All that development was obviously at the expense of social and economic justice. If it were done recognising social and economic justice things would not have happened thatway. I can only hope that the revolutionary momentum in Tunisia will be harnessed and will not be hijacked,” President Rawlings said.

Touching on his work in Somalia, the former President said it was a privilege to work in Somalia but his difficulty was the inability to operate from within the country, saying whenever he had to travel to Somalia the African Union Force had to deploy a significant number of its troops to protect him at a time they were needed at the war front.

President Rawlings who was African Union High Representative for Somalia said after twenty years the political climate in Somalia had to change to complement the military successes chalked by AMISOM and Somali forces. The election of August 2012, he noted gave the opportunity for the Somali people to create a new platform with new faces to manage their country.

“I did not think however that it would end Al Shabaab’s war. And I was not surprised when they resorted to renewed suicide attacks. There has to be a serious political angle or approach. That is not saying there should be compromises that do not favour the Somali people.

“We are vulnerable in Africa because of the wide economic disparity and the impunity of some of our leaders who create the climate for hatred. These issues have to be examined,” President Rawlings told the SABC.

While in South Africa President Rawlings visited the memorial centre of anti-apartheid activist, Steve Bantu Biko who died in prison in 1977 of torture.

President Rawlings met Biko’s widow, Ntsiki Mashalaba, who conducted the President round the centre and later led him to visit the graveside of the slain anti-apartheid hero.
 
 
 
Source: Office of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings/Former President of the Republic of Ghana
 
 

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