Nelson Mandela died today – yesterday now – aged 95.
He’s already being lauded as a man of peace, but he wasn’t – not really.
He was a fighter who desired peace.
But whichever label you apply, he fought against a hugely oppressive regime (one which had begun using lethal force to enforce apartheid and prevent peaceful protest) with commendable restraint.
He was an advocate of guerilla warfare, and armed uprising against the state – and he was arrested and convicted after he planned and executed a sabotage campaign against 193 government & military installations – not civilian targets, not innocents, but what he considered viable targets of an illegitimate authority.
For which he spent 27 years in a maximum security prison.
He will be increasingly recreated as a man without flaws, but he should really be remembered as a man who actually fought for genuine human equality – first as a guerilla, and later as a politician.
There aren’t enough people in the world willing to do that. We’ve got one less now.
Rest In Peace, Troublemaker.