Backtracking splashes mud

Many must be wondering - and rightly so - if there will be a dignified end to the continuing saga involving former president Nelson Mandela and his former lawyer Ismail Ayob.

Many must be wondering - and rightly so - if there will be a dignified end to the continuing saga involving former president Nelson Mandela and his former lawyer Ismail Ayob.

If the apology tendered by Ayob to Mandela last week was meant to bury the hatchet, events after the public peace accord seem to have generated more confusion and greater harm.

Surprisingly, no sooner had Ayob tendered the public apology than he was quoted on radio and in newspapers, claiming Mandela was waging a vendetta against him.

Interestingly, he also stood by his earlier claims that the former president had evaded taxes from the proceeds of his books and art works sold overseas.

These are unfortunate statements that obviously raise some questions.

Was the out-of-court settlement done mala fide or did any of the parties agree to the settlement under duress?

Not immediately clear is whether the agreement between the two parties, including the apology over defamatory remarks, still has a semblance of integrity in the wake of the continuing spat.

The latest remarks attributed to Ayob will not help heal the wounds. Instead they fuel further tensions and close the door to future negotiations.

Mandela, as an icon, should be treated with respect and dignity.

Will the latest round of wrangling culminate in yet another apology?

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