In memory of Nelson Mandela

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela became a global symbol for human rights when he successfully fought against the apartheid regime of racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa.

He served 27 years in prison before then President FW de Klerk granted him his freedom in 1990. Both Nelson Mandela and FW De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize as a symbol of their reconciliation in 1993.

South Africa had their first democratic elections in 1994 where Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black president. South Africa erupted in joy as this marked the building of a unified nation.

Mandela served one term before retiring. He contributed his time to AIDS Awareness and various other charities. Unfortunately he became ill over the past few years and South Africans saw very little of him. Having just come out of hospital, Mandela died on Thursday 5th December 2013 surrounded by family and friends of the struggle. He was 95.
Current South African President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death at a news conference, saying, “We’ve lost our greatest son.” Mandela had been in failing health for months.
Mandela worked as a lawyer and political activist to dismantle white minority rule under which blacks were denied political rights and basic freedoms. His methods included emulating the nonviolent approach of Mahatma Ghandi. However he needed to make a stronger statement, and a turn to violence as the leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress that included a bombing campaign at white government locations saw his imprisonment.

Mandela’s stoic optimism and conciliation toward adversaries and oppressors saw him as one of the world’s most recognizable statesmen of the 20th century and a true hero of South African democracy.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy,” Mandela once said. “Then he becomes your partner.”
This week as many dignatories and fellow South Africans make their way to various memorial services around the country, Cardinal Maritime remembers Madiba as the man who changed our nation, a man who taught us how to forgive and become a united country. We remember you for your charm and charisma but more importantly, your graciousness as an inspiring leader.

Hamba Kahle, Tata.

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter,” he wrote. “I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb.”

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