Martin Williams
3 minute read
17 Feb 2021
4:50 am

Madiba’s Teflon reputation under new attack

Martin Williams

Neither the multibillion-rand arms deal, nor democratic South Africa’s original sin, Sarafina II dented Mandela's reputation.

South African icon Nelson Mandela on June 2, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. ( Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)

Madiba’s Teflon reputation is under new attack, with 15 people arrested for fraud arising from his 2013 funeral, while scandal rocks the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF). Teflon is a coating used on cooking pans to prevent food from sticking. The term, Teflon president, was first used in 1983 against America’s Ronald Reagan, who could do no wrong. So it was with Madiba. Neither the multibillion-rand arms deal, nor democratic South Africa’s original sin, Sarafina II, which both started on his watch, dented his reputation. Nor was an eyebrow raised when Madiba gave Jacob Zuma R1 million in June 2005, shortly...