Mandla Mandela has written an “open letter” in response to his cousin Ndileka Mandela’s statement last week that she would no longer vote for the ANC.
The eldest granddaughter of former president Nelson Mandela said she had taken the decision in the wake of a recent scandal over deaths of over 100 mental health patients at Life Esidimeni hospital in Gauteng and the national social grant crisis of this month.
Ndileka, 52, said the ANC could have prevented both.
In response Mandla said Ndileka should play a role in trying to “breathe new life into the ANC” rather than turning away when “the house is on fire”.
“I read your heart-wrenching decision with empathy and understanding. I am sure this was not an easy step for you to take as the ANC has been the heartbeat of our family for many years.
“One can only imagine the many crises and challenges our grandfather uTatomkhulu Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela lived through since joining the ANC in 1944…I call on you to reconsider your decision,” said Mandla.
He pleaded with her to not turn away from the party.
“It is my hope that you, my sister, will be remembered not for turning away when the house was on fire but for following the advice of our wise elder and helping rejuvenate and modernise our political home, the ANC,” he said.
Contacted for comment by the Daily Dispatch, Ndileka said she was guided by her conscience.
“Granddad once said that when faced with a dilemma, people of integrity, of purpose, of public morality must always look to their conscience,” she said.
Ndileka said she was highly upset by the Life Esidimeni incident and South African Social Security Agency scandal.
Mandla said the ANC was saddened by events that led to the loss of life in the Esidimeni tragedy while on the social grants issue, the facts were a matter of public record and would receive the attention they required. — firstname.lastname@example.org