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Leadership 3 - Semester 2 Newsletter

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Mandela's Component of Leadership Style

The components of Mandela’s leadership style was developed through his self confidence

Mandela was a charismatic leader because his behaviour was that of a unique style. "He was reaching out to the white minority regime while stressing the need for black majority empowerment, this all, being done through peaceful means. Only a man with spiritual substance is able to fulfil his objective through peaceful mean because it requires patience on the part of that person to deal with such a situation that involve’ a great multitude of people. As a super statesman, liberator, and peacemaker, Mandela's opposition to the Iraq War is what was expected from this humble but alert African. He even refused to meet President George Bush of the United States of America when he visited South Africa. (Christian Science Monitor)

Mandala was an emotionally stable person as well because he never reacted to his oppressors or to any one and this was evidenced when he was released from prison. He came out Unchanged, and has never been attracted to any sense of vengeance or hatred and his Personal beliefs also remained unchanged. Mandela had a sense of humour- ‘a childlike sense of humour’. At one time Mandela was asked by a foreign correspondent why the ANC was so bent on achieving a two- thirds majority when it already had a clear governing majority, he responded with a polite tirade against his political opposition, which he dismissed as "Mickey Mouse" parties.

Tony Leon, the outspoken leader of the liberal opposition Democratic Party, whom he ‘referred’ retorted the next day by saying that Mandela headed a "Goofy" government. Unsettled by the exchange, the reporter of Christian Science Monitor wrote in his Sunday column that the battle between Mickey Mouse and Goofy would be funny if the underlying issues weren't so desperately serious. Shortly after the exchange, Mr. Leon suffered health problems and found himself in the same Johannesburg clinic as Helen Suzman, the veteran civil rights campaigner who was receiving treatment. Mandela went to the clinic to visit Ms. Suzman, who told him that Leon was there, too. Mandela spontaneously went to Leon's ward and from behind a curtain announced himself: "Mickey Mouse, this is Goofy." "I heard this unmistakably familiar voice, but I couldn't believe it was Mandela," said Leon. Leon had sharp political differences with the world's most famous leader. "But he is a wonderful human being," he said. (Christian Science Monitor).

Mandela was also assertive as a leader. At one aspect of Mandela that fascinates some admirers and biographers is the ease with which he interacts with the rich and powerful. After being released from jail he soon became a potent fund-raiser for the ANC – both internationally and at home.

He was not shy in asking his foreign guests, or anyone else, for funds. He once was known to return a check for $40,000 to a leading South African industrialist because he had asked for four times that amount. Mandela had a warm personality. "This is a man who rewarded his enemies with love and for that commands great respect all over the world" (Kwame Arko, Brazil). By forgiving his tormentors and oppressors, Mandela has proved to the world that Africans are the most civilised people on earth (Dennis Marope, Zimbabwe). (Christian Science Monitor)

As a servant and a situational leader, Mandela's most abiding contribution to South Africa's emerging democracy was the support he gave to the creation and execution of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He resisted overwhelming pressure from within the ANC to downplay human rights violations committed by exiled ANC cadres who had been in charge of detention camps outside the country, where ANC dissidents were held. The vital moment came when Mandela, as head of state, accepted the Truth Commission report which, while indicting apartheid, also had harsh words for ANC members guilty of gross human rights abuses. (Christian Science Monitor)

The ANC, under its new president, Mbeki, tried to block publication of the report, and didn't accept the human rights violations by those against apartheid, that they could be equated with the violations of apartheid officials. Through this attitude Mandela has demonstrated that he is the servant of the people- he was firm with the offenders.

South Africans of all races will look back in a generation or two and will be indebted to Mandela for taking this important moral stand. It is a cornerstone of the emerging South African democracy and the only basis on which to build a moral society. It can be concluded that this is one of the characteristic of a transformational leader. A person who is able to change the course of history by influencing events for the good of others. On, October 15, 1993. The African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela and former South African President F.W. de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work of the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. Mandela joined the ANC in 1944 and since then was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies. Shortly afterward, he was elected ANC deputy president. (Christian Science Monitor)

He later was imprisoned for 27 years for plotting to overthrow the government. In 1989 de Klerk was elected State President and leader of the National Party. In his first speech he called for a non-racist South Africa. In 1990 faced with worldwide condemnation of Mandela's imprisonment and South Africa's racism, de Klerk released Mandela (imprisoned since 1962) and lifted the ban on the ANC and all other political organisations, which opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country.

Next-Mandela's Strength and Weakness