Meghan Markle’s interview to The Cut magazine left no one indifferent, in it the Duchess of Sussex was frank about several aspects of her life and in others, generated a lot of controversy.
One of those comments was the anecdote that the actress told about her wedding to Prince Harry and the comparison with the South African leader, the late Nelson Mandela.
What did Meghan Markle say about Nelson Mandela?
The 41-year-old duchess revealed that at the premiere of The Lion King musical, one of the actors, of South African origin, told her: “I just want you to know that the day you got married we celebrated in the streets the same way we did when Mandela was released from prison”.
That revelation did not sit well with the former South African president’s family.
Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela, the late president’s grandson, weighed in on behalf of the family to reject the duchess’ comparison.
“Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was the culmination of nearly 350 of struggle, in which generations of our people paid with their lives. It cannot be compared to the celebration of a wedding,” she said in statements reviewed by the Mail Online.
Zwelivelile was blunt and stressed that when the people in South Africa took to the streets to celebrate the release of his grandfather, it was for something much more important and serious than a wedding with “a white prince”.
“Every day people appear who want to compare themselves to Nelson Mandela, comparing themselves to him or wanting to emulate him. But before people pretend to see themselves as a Mandela, they should first look at the work he did and support the causes he supported,” Zwelivelile sentenced.
The Duchess’ statements also generated backlash on social media. The Twitter hashtag #VoetsekMeghan trended among South Africans, who criticized the comparison. In that nation ‘voetsek’ is an offensive word used to tell someone to go away.
One user claimed, “No one celebrated on the streets of South Africa when she got married. The fact that you imply it was the same as Mandela’s release is completely disrespectful.”