Girish Kotwal's Tribute
Visiting the parliament in Cape Town and taking a picture of the mural on the walls of the parliament in Cape town showing Madiba signing the adoption of the constitution and formation of the national unity government was truly the finest ending of the long walk to freedom for Madiba and the rest of South Africa. It was also the dawn of a new beginning. I have twice had a chance to be in the same hall as Madiba. Once in Cape Town , I was at a table next to him (but his body guards said I could not take pictures of him as they would affect his eyes). Another time in Joburg for his 87th birthday attended by 100s of people including Bill Clinton, Madiba's wife and Desmond Tutu. His Foundation was kind enough to invite me. Although it was a bit disorganized, as some of the invited guests were first asked to go up to the balcony and then asked to go down and on reaching the ground floor, we were asked to go up again. At that time, I thought what would Madiba do in such a situation. I figured he would protest and tell the ushers that we are not tolerating this run around and that is exactly, what we did and guess what, they seated us fairly close to the stage and we enjoyed the tribute and watched him blow all the candles without any help. I Wish Madiba a long and a healthy life. I hope he is not bothered by the awful painting of his premature autopsy. I hope he will outlive all the onlookers in that painting (he has already outlived Nkosi Johnson), including the painter. At the same time, I call upon him and his supporters to challenge the critics to perform an autopsy of his legacy and his years as President of South Africa now; so that he can defend against the cowards and the vultures who cannot wait to dissect his legacy and attempt to tie some of the current failures of South Africa to his leadership in the last century. No one should be allowed a free reign in shaking the rightful place he has earned as one of the finest and greatest leaders of our times. Madiba has led free South Africa from its conception to birth, its infancy to youth and to the culmination of the hosting of a proudly South African, glorious 2010 world cup that has once again united South Africa. Long live Madiba. The symbol of peaceful conflict resolution, grace, a fighter for justice and human rights, non violence, truth and reconciliation.
Added 1 decade ago