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Tribute to Nelson Mandela - 1918 - 2013
Today, 06/12/2013 is a sad day for all South Africans
Our beloved Nelson Mandela, died last night 05/12/2013 aged 95 after a long illness.
As an ordinary South African citizen, I never had the privilege of meeting this icon of our times
However, Nelson's personality, charm, leadership qualities, love of people and great statesmanship shone through always, whenever he appeared on TV.
I just loved that unique voice, those colourful shirts that have become such a trademark that vendors make a living selling them, the joy on Nelson's face at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, his love for all South African sports, his gentleness with children and his quest for a better life for all in South Africa. A truly unique man who became an icon in his lifetime.
South Africa still has many problems to contend with politically but we hope that Nelson's spirit and example will live on as an example in the people of our beloved South Africa.
Some of Nelson Mandela's quotes below:
Unlike some politicians, I can admit to a mistake.
"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness."
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
I am confident that nobody... will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself.
I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/nelson_mandela_2.html#GJZYQfJlVihfdtcM.99
The following history is courtesy of "News 24" 6/12/2013
Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, has died aged 95.
Mandela, who was elected South Africa's first black president after spending nearly three decades in prison, had been receiving treatment for a lung infection at his Johannesburg home since September, after three months in hospital in a critical state.
His condition deteriorated and he died following complications from the lung infection, with his family by his side.
The news was announced by a clearly emotional President Jacob Zuma live on television, who said Mandela had "departed" and was at peace.
"Our nation has lost its greatest son," said Zuma.
"What made Nelson Mandela great is precisely what made him human," he said.
Mandela, once a boxer, had a long history of lung problems after contracting tuberculosis while in jail on Robben Island.
His extraordinary life story, quirky sense of humour and lack of bitterness towards his former oppressors ensured global appeal for the charismatic leader.
Once considered a terrorist by the United States and Britain for his support of violence against the apartheid regime, at the time of his death he was an almost unimpeachable moral icon.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner spent 27 years behind bars before being freed in 1990 to lead the African National Congress (ANC) in negotiations with the white minority rulers which culminated in the first multi-racial elections in 1994.
A victorious Mandela served a single term as president before taking up a new role as a roving elder statesman and leading Aids campaigner before finally retiring from public life in 2004.
"When he emerged from prison people discovered that he was all the things they had hoped for and more," fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said.
"He is by far the most admired and revered statesperson in the world and one of the greatest human beings to walk this earth."
From prisoner to global peace icon
He was a global cause celebre during the long apartheid years, and popular pressure led world leaders to tighten sanctions imposed on the apartheid regime.
In 1988 at a concert in Wembley stadium in London, tens of thousands sang "Free Nelson Mandela" as millions more watched on their television sets across the world.
Born in July 1918 in the southeastern Transkei region, Mandela carved out a career as a lawyer in Johannesburg in parallel with his political activism.
He became commander-in-chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the by now-banned ANC, in 1961, and the following year underwent military training in Algeria and Ethiopia.
While underground back home in South Africa, Mandela was captured by police in 1962 and sentenced to five years in prison.
He was then charged with sabotage and sentenced in 1964 to life in prison at the Rivonia trial, named after a Johannesburg suburb where a number of ANC leaders were arrested.
He used the court hearing to deliver a speech that was to become the manifesto of the anti-apartheid movement.
"During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society.
"It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
He was first sent to prison on Robben Island, where he spent 18 years before being transferred in 1982 to Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town and later to Victor Verster prison in nearby Paarl.
When he was finally released on 11 February 1990, walking out of prison with his fist raised alongside his then-wife Winnie.
Ex-prisoner 46664 was entrusted with the task of negotiating the path to democracy with president FW de Klerk.
Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their role in the ending of apartheid.
After the ANC won the first multi-racial elections, Mandela went out of his way to assuage the fears of the white minority, declaring his intention to establish "a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
Critics said his five-year presidency was marred by corruption and rising levels of crime. But his successors, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, have never enjoyed anywhere near the same levels of respect or affection.
In retirement, he focused his efforts on mediating conflicts, most notably in Burundi, as well as trying to raise awareness and abolish the taboos surrounding Aids, which claimed the life of his son Makgatho.
His divorce from second wife Winnie was finalised in 1996.
He found new love in retirement with Graca Machel, the widow of the late Mozambican president Samora Machel, whom he married on his 80th birthday.
"Every time Nelson Mandela walks in a room we all feel a little bigger, we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we'd like to be him on our best day,"
Mandela is survived by three daughters, 18 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. He had four step-children through his marriage to Machel.
His death has left his family divided over his wealth. Some of his children and grandchildren are locked in a legal feud with his close friends over alleged irregularities in his two companies.