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REMEMBRANCE OF NELSON MANDELA LEGACY

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Saturday December 07, 2013 - 09:33:25 in Daily News by Dahir Alasow
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    REMEMBRANCE OF NELSON MANDELA LEGACY

    Son of Africa, Father a Nation and Winner of Nobel Peace Prize

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Son of Africa, Father a Nation and Winner of Nobel Peace Prize

Waagacusub.net - After he released from the notorious Robben Island on 11 February 1990, then journalists and writers went to the data bank to know what they had run Mandela in the past. We all remember when thousands of competing media people from all over the world to listen to F.W. de Klerk, "Africa’s Gorbachev,” as they called him in those days. He became state president after Pik Botha fell by the wayside through ill health. But above all the world came to see the man who defied Aparthied and spent 27 years of his life in appalling condition on Robben Island, South Africa’s Devil’s Island.

In dying days of de Klerk’s rule, we watched on TV as he went to Oslo(Norway) with Mandela to receive the Nobel Peace Prize they had jointly won that year. Mandela was first to speak: I and Mr. De Klerk will continue to be opponents.” Mr. De Klerk smiled, a bit taken a back. His turn for a reply came, and at the end of it he shook Nelson by the hand. "We will continue to be friendly opponents. Friendly opponents. He said”. There was laughter all around.

The inauguration of Nelsom Mandela attracted almost the whole wolrd-120 heads of state were present and more than 3000 journalists from all over the world came to cover the big profile. Everyone liked how the way the African National Congress (ANC) treated their leader as a human being and not as myth, showing his picture dressed in his favourite flashy blue and white polo shirts. His assistants wanted him to be formal. Nelson shot it down. "You can at least be in a bow tie. It’s not too formal, but it’s nice” one of them argued.

Nelson said no, no I can talk properly when that thing is around my neck. He scoffed the three-piece suit favoured by African politicians. That’s Mandela, the legendary hero, but also of Mandela the human being and not a demi-god.

The week long ceremony ended strongly with Mandela saying that he thinks he has done what a man has to do to improve the lives of his people. That is why I can sleep for eternity. He told the gathered reporters and paparazzi.

He was asked if he had a grudge against the white South Africans for putting him on Robben Island, breaking stones—No that chapter is now closed. We are now a rainbow nation. Besides there is a room for everybody in the new South Africa

From Aparthied to Multicultural Democracy

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 into the Mediba tribe clan, part of Themba people. He was born in a small village in the eastern cape of South Africa. Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer; he had replaced the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy. Despite long years in jail, he emerged to become the country’s first black president and to play a leading role in the drive for peace in other sphere of conflicts.

His African name is Rolihlahla Dalibunga. A teach gave Mr. Mandela in his English name, Nelson, at his school. His father a counselor to the Tembu royal family, died when Nelson was nine years and he was placed in the care of the acting regent of the Tembu people, chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1943, first as activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. Eventually, after years in prison, he also served as its president. He married his first wife, Evelyn Mase in 1944. They were divorced in 1957 after three children. He was qualified as a lawyer and in 1972 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with partner Oliver Tambo.

Together, Mr. Mandela and Oliver Tambo campaigned against apartheid, the system devised by the all-white National Party to oppress the black majority. In 1956 Mr. Mandela was charged with high treason, along with 55 other activists, but the charges against him were dropped after four-year trial.

In 1956 Mandela married Winnie Madikizela, who was later to take a very active role in the campaign to free her husband from the prison. The white minority rulers and some of their collaborators organized a sabotage to discredit her for a crime she never committed. Her marriage with Mandela had broken down. Winnie came back as a political force in South Africa. The famous statement was –I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. He said inside the court.

The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mr. Mandela went underground. Tension with apartheid regime grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black people were shot dead by the police in the Sherpville Massacre. It was the end of peaceful resistance and Mr. Mandela, already national president of the ANC launched a campaign of sabotage against the country’s economy. He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempted to violently overthrow the apartheid government.

Hassan Abtidon

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