- Created on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:24
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By MICHELLE ALLENBERG
A month after Nelson Mandela’s death many South Africans are hoping for political change.
As the news of Mandela’s death spread, people around the world expressed their sadness through Internet postings. Worldwide news analyzed the life of “the great Madiba.”
South Africans, despite religion, race and country of residence, mourn his death.
Natasha Kloppers, 26, living in Cape Town, said his death affected everyone. “I’ve never seen such grieving. An entire country. Pretty much everyone was crying on their way to work the next day.”
But how are things now for South Africans a month later?
Reshni Moodley, 25, from Durban, said, “There’s been no amazing turn-around, just a plateau.” Kloppers said people have gone back to living their lives. “Life goes on because it has to. He wouldn’t want us mourning for months.”
Moodley said that for a time after Mandela’s death, people’s “spirits were up,” but now a month later “spirits have dropped.”
Many worried about the emotional and political state of the country. Some talked about an uprising or an increase in violence, but neither of those happened. Kloppers said there was no “uprising” and laughs at the idea of this. “That was never going to happen. If you live here you’d realize a notion like that is ridiculous.”
Moodley notes not much changed and the “crime and violence haven’t gotten better or worse.”
Others like Megan Louise Heinzelmann, ignore what is happening. As a person living in South Africa, she likes to “stick” her head in the sand and “ignore everything.”
“We are living in an awesome country that has its problems, just like the rest of the world.”
South Africa’s future is unknown. Some people are criticizing the current party in power, the African National Congress (ANC), of which Mandela was once president. The Democratic Alliance Party, with about 50,000 followers on Facebook, has a growing number of supporters.
Its mission statement is to “promote an Open Opportunity Society in which every person is free, secure, and equal before the law.”
Moodley said the population will have a “drastic wakeup call” in the future and will need to “work to change for the good.” She said South Africans have to either improve the ANC or vote into government a political party, which will improve the country.
“Things might get worse before they get better. While the ANC still rule, our country will get worse.”
Kloppers sees criticism of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma increasing. She said satirical cartoons such as Zapiro and Madame and Eve have become much “bolder” and “sterner,” since Mandela’s death.
Kloppers said she is an optimistic person and hopes that all the focus on Mandela has reminded South Africans where they want South Africa to be “compared to where it is now.” She adds the greatest thing about living in South Africa is that “it is up to the ordinary man to make a difference. It is in our power to do so.”
Kloppers said people will always remember Mandela and “hopefully remember the feeling of being together as well.” She, like many others, sees a shift coming, but she said, “We’ll have to wait and see.”