(Natural News) The Nelson Mandela Foundation has issued a controversial statement supporting Black Lives Matters and even endorsing the use of violence to achieve their goals.
Their statement said that the protests against police brutality and racism that we are seeing following George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer are part of “growing rage” against white supremacy around the world.
“The use of violence can be rational and carefully targeted as part of a strategy to counter structural and other forms of violence against Black lives. And, of course, it ought always to be so,” they wrote.
They added that police killings in their own country show how 26 years of democracy have not ensured that “black lives matter as much as white lives” there.
They said that using violence to pursue political goals is “too readily dismissed” as being in the realm of criminals and extremists, when it can actually arise in communities where people realize that it is the only way they can get the response they want.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organization that says it aims to protect the legacy of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, and was set up by Mandela himself when he stepped down as the South African president in 1999.
They are being heavily criticized for condoning violence, particularly in light of the fact that there is already a significant violence problem in South Africa. Despite the progress that has been made there, the country is still dealing with significant inequality and racial tensions.
Anger over South African man who was allegedly beat to death by soldiers
They also mentioned Collins Khosa, a South African man who recently died after he was allegedly beat by soldiers during the country’s coronavirus lockdown. He had apparently violated the country’s lockdown rules by drinking a beer in his yard.
Court papers indicate that Khosa was kicked, punched, choked, slammed against the wall and hit by the butt of a machine gun in the Good Friday incident; he died shortly thereafter of blunt force trauma to the head at home while waiting for paramedics to arrive. However, the army was absolved of wrongdoing in his death after an investigation found there was no link between his death and the injuries he sustained.
According to South African police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, more than 42,000 criminal complaints were lodged against the police there from 2012 to 2019, including thousands of deaths, assaults and rapes. However, just 531 led to successful criminal convictions.
Civil rights group opening incitement of violence case against foundation
The South African civil rights organization AfriForum has said it plans to open up an incitement of violence case against the foundation over the irresponsible statement. Their head of policy, Ernst Roets, said they would also be charged with hate speech, adding that their statement clearly glorifies and incites violence.
“Violent threats of this nature have no place in any society, and the fact that an organization of the NMF’s status can so nonchalantly publish a justification of violent means is very troubling and telling,” he said.
They’ve urged the authorities to take this case seriously and send a strong message that inciting violence is unacceptable.
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