The comparison that Meghan Markle made between her royal wedding and his grandfather’s release from jail has drawn criticism from one of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons.
In a recent interview with The Cut, Meghan, 41, recalled hearing that the delight after Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s release was comparable to the responses to her marriage to Prince Harry from the general population.
Markle claimed that a South African cast member approached her as she was at the 2019 London premiere of the live-action adaptation of “The Lion King.”
“He gave me a startling glance as he turned to face me. “I just need you to know: We celebrated in the streets when you married into our family, just as we did when Mandela was released from prison,” he continued “In Meghan’s memory.
Reacting, Mandela’s grandson said Meghan’s wedding cannot be compared to his grandfather’s freedom from prison after 27 years.
Zwelivelile Mandela told the DailyMail: “Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa.”
He added: “It cannot be equated to as the same.”
Zwelivelile, 48, shared that he was surprised by Markle’s recent comments.
He said that South Africans dancing in the streets for his grandfather’s release in 1990 after 27 years in prison was more important and more serious than Meghan’s marriage “to a white prince.”
He said: “We are still bearing scars of the past. But [Nelson Mandela’s celebrations were] a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time.”
A number of South Africans also took offense at Meghan’s statement.
The hashtag #VoetsekMeghan even started trending on Twitter in South Africa. “Voetsek” is an Afrikaans word meaning “go away” or “get lost.”
“No one was rejoicing in the streets of South Africa when she got married. For her to imply that it was the same as when President Mandela was released is the utmost disrespect,” one person tweeted.
“I cannot believe that race baiter had the gall, the bloody liberty and the absolute audacity to equate her pathetic over priviledge life to the suffering and release of Nelson Mandela,” another tweeted.