Despite once being the chief of Umkhonto We Sizwe, the military wing of the Communist-dominated African National Congress, many in the Western media aren't simply honoring the late South African politician, but drawing comparisons between him and Jesus Christ, as cited by the Catholic centered news portal and aggregate PewSitter.com on Dec. 6, 2013.
A number of news organs ranging from distinguished and venerable British newspapers to their Yank cousins in the American heartland have not only drawn direct comparisons between Mandela and Christ, but some see a deification transpiring.
In an unaccredited editorial appearing in an advanced release of the Dec. 7, 2013 edition of The Baltimore Sun, the unnamed writer(s) of the op/ed penned:
Few political leaders who have walked the earth inspire comparisons to Jesus Christ and the love he held for mankind. Nelson Mandela, the South African leader who died Thursday night at the age of 95, would be the exception.
Peter Oborne, the chief political commentator of one of Britain's oldest publications, The Telegraph (of London) opined on Dec. 6, 2013 almost word-for-word what his anonymous sister publication wrote:
There are very few human beings who can be compared to Jesus Christ. Nelson Mandela is one.
Not to be outdone, another London-based newspaper The Guardian dug up and published on Dec. 6, 2013, an undated quote from a relatively obscure South African identified as Jabulil Mlaka, whose main claim to fame is that he's "a student from Tembisa township near Johannesburg" who once predicted that when Mandela eventually does pass away:
It'll be like the death of Jesus. A lot of people will be impacted in a bad way.
Adam Roberts of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did objectively headline his op/ed "Nelson Mandela was no saint, but his flaws made him all the greater" yet still trotted out a dated quote illustrating Mandela's "Christ-like aspects":
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madiba’s [Mandela's] close friend and fellow leader of the anti-apartheid campaign, once told me how he felt an immense 'generosity of spirit' from Mandela.
The archbishop naturally saw Christian elements in Madiba’s readiness to forgive his white racist abusers and his compassion for the weak. 'You can even think of Jesus . . . there are Christ-like aspects of him.'