One of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons slammed Meghan Markle for comparing her royal wedding to his grandfather being freed from prison.
“Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa,” Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela told the Daily Mail Tuesday, using a nickname to refer to the late activist.
Zwelivelile, a member of Parliament and chief of Nelson’s Mvezo tribe, added, “It cannot be equated to as the same.”
Zwelivelile, 48, shared that he was surprised by Markle’s recent comments, saying that South Africans dancing in the streets for his grandfather’s release in 1990 after 27 years in prison was more important and more serious than her marriage “to a white prince.”
“We are still bearing scars of the past. But [Mr. Mandela’s celebrations were] a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time,” he said.
Zwelivelile’s criticism of the Duchess of Sussex, 41, comes after she shared during a recent interview with The Cut that someone once told her the public reactions to her marriage to Prince Harry and Nelson’s freedom were comparable.
Markle said she was attending the 2019 premiere of the live-action version of “The Lion King” in London when a South African cast member from the film pulled her aside.
“He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison,’” she recalled.
Nelson’s family member isn’t the only person to express horror over Markle’s anecdote. Several South Africans took to Twitter to roast the “Princess of Montecito” over her tone-deaf words.
The hashtag “#VoetsekMeghan even started trending on Twitter in South Africa. “Voetsek” is an Afrikaans word meaning “go away” or “get lost.”
“No one was rejoicing in the streets of South Africa when she got married. For her to imply that it was the same as when President Mandela was released is the utmost disrespect,” one person tweeted.
“Meghan you may fool Americans, celeb ‘friends’, social media minions but you can’t fool Africans. You’ve shown us who u are. When you try to rip the Royal Family you forget about who you offend on the way. Your entitlement wreaks n we see through you,” another added.
“I cannot believe that race baiter had the gall, the bloody liberty and the absolute audacity to equate her pathetic over priviledge[d] life to the suffering and release of Nelson Mandela,” a third agreed.
Markle and Harry, 37, recently honored Nelson with an appearance at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day.
The anti-apartheid activist was the first president of South Africa, serving from 1994 to 1999 after being released from prison in 1990. He died on Dec. 5, 2013, at the age of 95.
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