There is a joke that used to do the rounds about the late South African Communist Party leader, Joe Slovo: he was spotted by two black ladies walking in a crowded place with Nelson Mandela.
The one lady excitedly says: “Look, Mandela! I wonder who the white man with him is. ” The other lady looks at her friend, puzzled: “That’s not a white man, that’s Joe Slovo.
” It might be an old joke but it captures the essence of the kind of society that the architects of the Freedom Charter dreamt of: a society where a person’s character and deeds mattered more than the race they were born into.