Mandela left at the right time in 1999, when the country still seemed in a healthy state, after which he consolidated his international reputation.
By positioning himself as a loveable granddad to supporters and the punchline of a joke to his opposition, Zuma adroitly defangs the very serious charges against him.
Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations provide a chance to debunk the lie that he sold out black South Africans.
To honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa could do with its citizens becoming more active in driving development - particularly efforts to tackle poverty an inequality.
The opposition Democratic Alliance is hopeful that the African National Congress will fail to win a majority in three metros. This will open the door for it to rule in coalition with smaller parties.
When celebrating Nelson Mandela Day, it would benefit South Africans to reflect on what the statesman's legacy means for the nation and how they are living up to his dreams for the country.