No Future Without Forgiveness- Chapter 8 Reflection

I was assigned to read chapter 8 of No Future Without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu.

My chapter focused on the trial of Nelson’s former wife, Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Winnie was charged with kidnapping and assault of her younger male bodyguards.  All throughout this segment of the chapter Desmond speaks so highly of Winnie. He tells the story of how dedicated she was to her freedom and what a hard toll being involved in politics took on her.

She was banished from Soweto and was not allowed to communicate with anyone. She also did a wonderful job gaining support from the public while many of the leaders were in jail. 

In a Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson briefly mentioned Winnie’s trial and the only thing he did mention about it was that he believed she was innocent and soon be set free.

On the other hand, during Desmond Tutu’s mentioning of the incident he encouraged Winnie to admit that something went wrong and that apologizing is the best thing she can do.  During her televised trial, she says,

“ I will take this opportunity to say to the family of Dr. [Abubaker] Asvat, how deeply sorry I am, to Stompie’s mother, how deeply sorry I am…I am saying it is true, things went horribly wrong. I fully agree with that and for that part of those painful years when things went horrible wrong and we were aware of the fact that there were factors that led to that, for that I am deeply sorry” (Tutu 174).

I agree with Desmond when he says that “it is ultimately in our best interest that we become forgiving, repentant, reconciling and reconciled people because without forgiveness, without reconciliation, we have not future” (Tutu 165).

In order to move forward we must not dwell on the past. Without forgiveness comes grudges and when people begin to hold grudges it automatically keeps them in touch with a negative part of the past.  Grudges are like strings that hold us back and with forgiveness we can cut those strings and allow ourselves to move forward instead of being stuck in one place.


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