Mandela is a myth that many South Africans have lived by. His legacy extends everywhere, but what of the future beyond his legacy? ‘Mandela's ethical legacy’ looks at his legacy in terms of his multifarious achievements and South Africa's mixed record on addressing past inequalities. Many years after Mandela stood down as president, there can be no doubt of his reputation as a warrior for freedom and a founder of a new democratic state. If this is the case, why do so many people work so hard to maintain his legacy? Mandela was a leader who tried to be so many things to so many different people. Perhaps this is why he is susceptible to critical reassessment.