Nelson Mandela has died.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of the nation, died on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.
President Jacob Zuma made the announcement from the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday night. He said Mandela passed away at 20:50 in his Houghton home surrounded by his wife, Graça Machel and members of his family.
Zuma said Mandela would have a state funeral and that the flags would fly half-mast from December 6 until after the funeral.
Zuma called on South Africans to “recall the values for which Madiba fought”. . .
Mandela became the symbol of the struggle against apartheid after he was convicted in the Rivonia Trial of charges of sabotage and was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.
At the end of his trial, Mandela gave a now iconic speech in which he said: “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 live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. 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.” . . .
Other quotes which exemplify his philosophy:
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
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.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
It always seems impossible until its done.
There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
In my country we go to prison first and then become President.
I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.
Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
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.
Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.