Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel says African leaders have lost the plot of connecting with the people. She says Africans, especially in the SADC region, are living apart and do not have the humanity of helping one another.

Machel has challenged the current crop of leaders to reconnect with communities in an effort to fight the social ills that plague the continent.

Machel, who was speaking at the commemoration of the passing of Nelson Mandela on 5 December seven years ago, says Madiba used to worry about the wellbeing of everybody.

“I think this region has changed so much and to be really very honest, I think it is going to be extremely difficult to have our states or our leaders to take us back to what we have been in terms of connection. I don’t know what happened. I did not need to know whether someone is from Namibia or Botswana or is from Angola. I didn’t need to because there were those social movements who were helping us to communicate and connect.”

Remembering Madiba in a Time of Global Fracture:

Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Africa should not waiver in seeking to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals by the end of the decade.

The President was addressing the virtual closing ceremony of the extraordinary session of the AU assembly on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Ramaphosa also said the example of the late South African President Nelson Mandela reminds the continent that striving for a better world never ends.