Back to Index
Africa, world mourn 'giant for justice' Mandela
December 05, 2013
View this article
on the VOA News website
anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela died aged 95 at his Johannesburg
home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection, plunging his
nation and the world into mourning for a man hailed by global leaders
as a moral giant.
had been frail and ailing for nearly a year, Zuma's announcement
late on Thursday of the death of the former president and Nobel
Peace Prize laureate shook South Africa.
A girl holds
a South African national flag as people mourn the death of former
President Nelson Mandela outside Cape Town City Hall, where Mandela
made his first speech after his release from his 27-year incarceration,
Dec. 6, 2013. A girl holds a South African national flag as people
mourn the death of former President Nelson Mandela outside Cape
Town City Hall, where Mandela made his first speech after his release
from his 27-year incarceration, Dec 6, 2013.
Tributes began flooding in almost immediately for a man who was
an iconic global symbol of struggle against injustice and of racial
Barack Obama said the world had lost "one of the most influential,
courageous and profoundly good human being that any of us will share
time with on this earth".
Minister David Cameron called Mandela "a hero of our time"
and said, "a great light has gone out in the world".
Africans were in shock. "It feels like it's my father who has
died. He was such a good man, who had good values the nation could
look up to. He was a role model unlike our leaders of today,"
said Annah Khokhozela, 37, a nanny, speaking in Johannesburg.
A sombre Zuma
made a national broadcast to announce the death of South Africa's
first black president, who emerged from 27 years in apartheid prisons
to help guide Africa's biggest economy through bloodshed and turmoil
South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding
president of our democratic nation, has departed," Zuma said
in the nationally televised address.
have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come,
nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.
His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the
world. His humility, passion and humanity, earned him their love,"
receive a full state funeral, Zuma said, ordering flags to be flown
at half mast.
The U.N. Security
Council was in session when the ambassadors received the news of
Mandela's death. They stopped their meeting and stood for a minute's
Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration,"
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters. "Nelson
Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one
of us if we believe, dream and work together for justice and humanity."
Obama, the first
black American president, described Mandela as an inspiration: "Like
so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without
the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will
do what I can to learn from him," he said in a televised address
at the White House shortly after the announcement of Mandela's death.
South Africa at peace with itself that's an example to the world,
and that's Madiba's legacy to the nation he loved.
from rural obscurity to challenge the might of white minority apartheid
government - a struggle that gave the 20th century one of its most
respected and loved figures.
He was among
the first to advocate armed resistance to apartheid in 1960, but
was quick to preach reconciliation and forgiveness when the country's
white minority began easing its grip on power 30 years later.
He was elected
president in landmark all-race elections in 1994 and retired in
most famous political prisoner
ruling African National Congress (ANC) party said the country and
the world had lost "a colossus".
gives us the courage to push forward for development and progress
towards ending hunger and poverty," it said in a statement.
He was awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, an honour he shared with F.W. de
Klerk, the white Afrikaner leader who released from jail arguably
the world's most famous political prisoner.
Mandela faced the monumental task of forging a new nation from the
deep racial injustices left over from the apartheid era, making
reconciliation the theme of his time in office.
of Mandela's mission was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
which probed apartheid crimes on both sides of the struggle and
tried to heal the country's wounds. It also provided a model for
other countries torn by civil strife.
In 1999, Mandela
handed over power to younger leaders better equipped to manage a
modern economy - a rare voluntary departure from power cited as
an example to African leaders.
he shifted his energies to battling South Africa's AIDS crisis,
a struggle that became personal when he lost his only surviving
son to the disease in 2005.
major appearance on the global stage came in 2010 when he attended
the championship match of the soccer World Cup, where he received
a thunderous ovation from the 90,000 at the stadium in Soweto, the
neighbourhood in which he cut his teeth as a resistance leader.
capital offences in the infamous 1963 Rivonia Trial, his statement
from the dock was his political testimony.
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.”
reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in London, Steve Holland, Matt Spetalnick,
Mark Felsenthal, and Jeff Mason, Michele Nichols in New York, Stella
Mapenzauswa and Peroshni Govender in Johannesburg; Writing by Ed
Cropley and Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Peter Graff)
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.