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Mandela – icon for peace and justice

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Nelson Mandela, at his home in Johannesburg last night (5 December) at the age of 95.

Mandela was and will remain an inspiration to all who strive for equality, peace and justice.

After 27 years in prison, he became the first President of a democratic South Africa, breaking down barriers between communities and promoting reconciliation, and leading a peaceful transition to unite a country previously violently divided by apartheid.

In Mandela’s own words, at his trial in 1964:

‘I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’

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2 Responses

  1. I was present at a conference in 2000 when Mandela spoke. What I chiefly remember are that he told a little story against himself, the sweetness of his smile in spite of all he had gone through, and that he ended that we should never forget, “You are your brother’s keeper”. A magnificent man: few in history like him, I think.

  2. I lived in South Africa for a short while as a teenager and fully realise how much the world has to thank Nelson Mandela to help such a peaceful transition to multi ethnic society.

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