Mandela’s Granddaughter Calls for Reparations from British Royal Family Over Colonialism

Ndileka Mandela, the granddaughter of ex-South African President Nelson Mandela, has urged the British Royal Family to acknowledge its colonial role in Africa and make reparations. Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show, she emphasized that reparations from the UK’s Royal Family are crucial for the healing process.

“If there can be an acknowledgement of what was done to countries to colonise because we are still suffering a great deal from colonisation, in as far as our culture as Black people is concerned,” she said.

When pressed if she thought the Royal Family specifically should pay reparations, the climate activist and eldest grandchild of Nelson Mandela said: “Yes I would. That’s where healing begins.”

“So there has got to be first admission of the fact that yes, we acknowledge that we displaced you as a people. Then we can talk of reparations,” she continued.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter resurgence in Britain, triggered by George Floyd’s death in the United States in 2020, left-leaning voices in the UK and former colonies are increasingly advocating for reparations to be extended to the descendants of those affected by the slave trade or colonialism.

This debate persists despite the historical acknowledgment that Britain played a significant role in abolishing the slave trade, incurring substantial costs in both wealth and lives during the process.

After enacting the groundbreaking Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, making it the world’s first country to do so, the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave trade vessels and liberated around 150,000 African slaves.

Beyond its role in ending the Transatlantic slave trade, the British government actively contributed to halting the Barbary and East African slave trades. Throughout these efforts, 1,587 British sailors sacrificed their lives.

Speaking from the United Nations COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, an oil-rich Arabian nation, Mandela asserted that “climate apartheid” stemmed from Africa’s colonial history.

In a summit focused on the green agenda, the South African activist was joined by others attributing the perceived unequal effects of purportedly human-induced climate change on developing nations in the ‘Global South’ to colonialism.

Bolivian Vice President David Choquehuanca, a socialist, asserted in Dubai that the crisis faced by “Mother Earth” was a result of the influence of “neocolonial, capitalist, imperialist, patriarchal, Western culture.”

The government led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the United Kingdom, under the label of ‘Conservative,’ has previously endorsed the idea of affluent Western nations providing financial support to countries like Pakistan as a form of climate change “reparations.”