FILE - In this July 30, 2001 file photo, former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, right, speaks during a press conference alongside British model Naomi Campbell in Barcelona, Spain, before the 'Frock and Roll' benefit concert to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. Heroic in his deeds, graceful in his manner, sainted in his image, Nelson Mandela long served as both cause and muse in the entertainment community. From the 1960s, when he was a political prisoner and South Africa w
What Will Be Mandela's Greatest Legacy
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As the world remembers Nelson Mandela, some are wondering what his greatest legacy will be.
UB's Claude Welch, who has monitored the human rights watch in Africa over the years, says Mandela's greatest legacy will be South Africa as a true democratic entity. "By democratic, I mean functioning with majority rule, competitive elections, a political system that's fairly open, an economic system that's becoming less unequal, and with a sense of leadership South Africa had not had for hundreds of years," explains Welch.
Welch says Mandela brought a Truth and Reconciliation Commission aimed at learning what exactly happened during the era of Apartheid. "If a person truly owned up to what he had done, then the person would not face trial, and could be reconciled. But the TRC was an entity that was able to mete out justice by sending the non-repentant people to trial, where they would be judged," says Welch.
Welch notes Mandela did other things to bring reconciliation, one being his wearing of South Africa's rugby jersey, associated with white rule. He also called for the old national anthem of South Africa to played along with the new one when he took office.
Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Welch says Mandela was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent approach. "That non violence was picked up by the African National Congress, picked up as well by southern leaders in the US to try to put an end to racial discrimination," says Mandela.