To err is human, to forgive divine

It is no exaggeration that many would have wished for the two-year wrangle between former president Nelson Mandela and his former lawyer, Ismail Ayob, to have ended as soon as it started.

It is no exaggeration that many would have wished for the two-year wrangle between former president Nelson Mandela and his former lawyer, Ismail Ayob, to have ended as soon as it started.

Better still, it should have been settled away from the public glare, behind closed doors between the two protagonists.

This is because Mandela is revered as a world statesman who exudes a moral authority that can be likened to that of a saint. Consequently any swift move to prevent the hanging of dirty linen in public would have been most welcome.

This week Ayob apologised to Mandela and agreed to repay more than R700000 that went missing from his trust fund, averting what would have been a long and bitter legal tussle between the two parties.

Ayob has also apologised to Mandela for the claims contained in his affidavits that could be defamatory.

It is a relief that, at his age, Madiba has been spared all the drama and aggravation that goes with civil matters of this nature.

Forgiveness is a mark of humanity and strength of mind - and these are the rare qualities that elevated Madiba to the status of a world icon, which has eluded many world leaders of his time.

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