Editorial on Apartheid


MandelaWhy John Key’s action disgusts us

Many of us opposed apartheid — some at considerable risk to themselves — in the years when it really mattered. Unfortunately, we aren’t being represented at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

So KIN has asked Kapiti’s John Murray, an anti-apartheid veteran and  member of the  commission which oversaw South Africa’s first democratic elections, to explain why he thinks Mr Key is acting undemocratically.

 What do you think of Key’s choice ?

By John Murray
Anti-Apartheid Activist [from 1960 on]

Our leader, John Key, is in South Africa. He is representing you and me, to say at his funeral, what a wonderful man is Nelson Mandela. Yes , truly, he is.

John Key has decided to choose to represent us, a previous National PM, a later National Deputy PM – both of whom voted for the Tour – a retired Maori MP supporting National and the new Labour Leader. What do you think?

All ‘honourable men’ no doubt. But my question is – how can John Key honour Mandela — in our name — this giant of a man, famous for reconciling old enmities and working with former enemies, by choosing, four out of five, those who opposed working with Mandela and deliberately excluding those who protested for the honour of our country?

This political hypocrisy is so clear that even John Key will have to smile a lot and stammer that he was ‘too young’ at the time, to convince us all, protestors and supporters alike, that he has even begun to understand the legacy and the spirit of Madiba.

And besides, economics is his final factor! He doesn’t want to ask for more taxpayers’ money!

John Key should go for our sakes. He has a lot to learn about what real political leadership means.

But what about the Governor General also? Isn’t he Head of State? And what about those vilified by the then National Government — Trevor Richards, John Minto, Alec Shaw – and so many more of us?

Perhaps John Key does not want to take sides! Perhaps he is more interested in getting a memorable, grinning, photo opportunity as New Zealand’s Leader?

I can see Mandela’s real smile broadening, as he listens to our Prime Minister.



Well said John. Why John (brain fade) Key can’t just admit he was pro-tour, I don’t know. One can respect honesty, but not deception. The HART and CARE men should have been in the delegation and Sir Jerry. Good to see that anti-tour marcher Hone will be there.