'Let us have Madiba liberated' - Nelson Mandela's grandson calls for his grandfather's statue to be unboxed
Nkosi Mandela spoke to Good Morning Britain about his grandfather Nelson Mandela’s statue in London being covered due to protestors.
He explained to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: "We would also want to see this box removed and Madiba liberated. This, for us as a family, takes us down memory lane. I remember in 1984 there was a bust on the South Bank of London that was erected by the Greater London Council. About four years later in 1988, I came to visit London and found the statue defaced.
"Madiba was coined to have been a terrorist and a communist and to us and the anti-apartheid movement at large we knew Madiba stood for the greater cause of peace, democracy and human rights for all," Mr Mandela added.
Addressing the Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place across the world following George Floyd's death, Mr Mandela said: "We understand the issues and challenges that Britain may be facing that has been accelerated by the death of George Floyd and the BLM campaign. But we know that statues that should be able to inspire us, and also enable us to pass them on to the next generation to admire, to make sure that future generations are able to understand the people who stood for justice and the freedoms that we enjoy today. So we are shocked."
On the death of George Floyd, he added: "I think more than the racism we are seeing, we should look at George Floyd’s passing in the light of oppressive regimes. Oppressed people around the world are beginning to have a platform and are beginning to have a voice."
Referring to the image of Patrick Hutchinson saving a man from harm during the protests over the weekend, Mr Mandela said: "[It] has been a powerful image that speaks to us in terms of humanity, to look within. It is a courageous thing to see…to say we have to get beyond race, it is about humanity.”
He said witnessing brutality in any country we "have to take a stand for justice and human rights for all."
Mr Mandela went on: "You cannot look at racism alone, you have to look at it holistically as to what has led to such. If you look at the George Floyd incident, it is not just a white cop killing a black man. This is what African Americans have been experiencing from the days of slavery, from colonialism, from occupation, from the civil rights movement. This has been the story of George Floyd and the story of African Americans and oppressed people around the world. We have to elevate the discussion beyond racism and look at creating a platform for oppressed nations around the world."
He added: "I would say statues should inspire us. But on the other side you cannot have statues that bring about anger and disgust upon humanity. If those individuals played a negative role in our past, they have a role in society, that may be in museums for example. We cannot totally erase the past and pretend that the past never existed.”
He said we have to "learn about the wrongs of the past. People like Ghandi, like Martin Luther King and like my grandfather are individuals who inspired and brought about hope."
Mr Mandela concluded: "I started speaking about the bust on the South Bank. That bust was reinstated and it was put back in it’s dignified place. We would also want to see this box removed and Madiba liberated. London has always been a place of real significance to us as a family. My grandfather’s 70th birthday was celebrated at Wembley stadium and the anti-apartheid movement in London inspired real hope to the anti-apartheid movement. So we would appeal to the politicians and the citizenry in London to have the box removed and have Mabida liberated."
He summed up by saying: "George Floyd will be the spark that ignited hope in the entire global community for the oppressed to take a stand and begin to have a voice."