I think Mandela is overrated.
Even though he spent decades in prison for his struggle, it's not like he opted to remain inside throughout that time to make a point - like Gandhi did at one point in the face of the British colonialists' court. He just became an iconic figure for a struggle which was mostly undertaken by those who did most of the work outside and who opted to continue to do so. I don't know why those who spend time in prison are seen to have done more for a cause than those who fought on the outside for decades.
I certainly do quite respect this bloke by the way, and he certainly deserves credit for his efforts. But he was in prison out of force, not choice, and given way too much credit for that which wasn't his choice. Sometimes, methinks, people tend to use imprisoned freedom fighters as icons because there is too much competition amongst those whom fought on the outside. They are also less tainted with blood than those who struggled, tooth and nail, throughout that time that Mandela languished in prison.
One could also say that keeping Mandela in prison during those few decades also saved quite a few white lives that might have been lost if he was free. And one could also say that if he wasn't kept in prison, apartheid wouldn't have lasted as long as it did.
Strange, but in today's standards, Nelson Mandela would be deemed a 'terrorist' too i think. The 'Bin Laden' of South Africa to some degree who killed white farmers whilst fighting for the rights of the Blacks. One could also say that keeping Mandela in prison during those few decades also saved quite a few white lives that might have been lost if he was free. And one could also say that if he wasn't kept in prison, apartheid wouldn't have lasted as long as it did.
All that said, i hope he gets better. Wish he had never been imprisoned though, so that we can see the full extent of his calibre, and perhaps learn from it....and than i wonder who would have become South Africa's first Black PM.
Rest my brother.