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Thank you Madiba for your amazing and extraordinary example to the world in your and others' fight for dignity and human rights against an evil, morally corrupt, arrogant, racist, deeply fearful, hateful, and oppressive government and an equally so and trauamtizing system for decades and of the peaceful transition to a free, nonracial, and democratic South Africa as an esential father figure being president. A true giant and iconic human being! Prison may have locked him up for 25 years but it could never take away his indomitable spirit. Your kindness, courage, humility, humanity, dedication, serenity, intelligence, proud beaming smile, influence, compassion, inspiration, and forgiveness will all be greatly missed and fondly remembered and endure long after you're gone worldwide. People of your caliber don't come around very often as we sadly see in our world. God bless Nelson Mandela for making our world, not just South Africa, a much better place when he left it. Definitely worth celebrating. We already miss you deeply throughout the world. :(

May God bless South Africa and its good people at this sad time. :(

Glad that this full speech been uploaded months ago on YouTube after seeing only the excerpt. This was his first post-release speech on Sunday, February 11, 1990 at the Cape Town City Hall at twilight in front of a rally following his highly anticipated release from Victor Vorster Prison earlier that day. By his side are his then-wife Winnie Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Cyril Ramaphosa holding the mic, and Oliver Tambo's wife. His speech has him discussing his freedom, his principles for a nonracial and democratic South Africa and saluting just about everyone involved in the decades-long struggle like the ANC, COSATU, the SACP, and the South African working class to the loud cheers of the crowd--even De Klerk gets a salute for recognizing and attempted reconciling the end of aparthied and working with anti-aparthied forces. I fondly recall seeing this speech live on NBC with eagerness and admiration of the man who I, like many others, saw mostly from an image back from 1961 until just before release and is definitely worth showing here in celebrating his life.

Mandela's historic May 10, 1994 inauguration speech as the first president of the post-aparthied South Africa in Pretoria. More than ready to guide and lead as the unifying father figure of "the new South Africa" back into the international fold. No doubt it was a great day for history. The lovely then-brand new South African flag is in the background.

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He was probably the last major champion of peace from the terribly divided 20th century. Truly an icon. A smiley and serene one.

He was a lot of good things, but I wouldn't go as far to say the last major champion of peace... take Ang Sung Suu Kyi, for example. Don't get me wrong, he was the most respected, most famous and probably the greatest statesman to have ever lived... but there are others out there, not like him necessarily, but major champions of peace all the same.

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Mandela deeply understood the power of sports in bringing people from different backgrounds and different areas together constructively--he says as much in the end. We already know this with the Olympics as fans. But another notable and inspiring sports example we all know came of course in the 1995 Rugby World Cup when the Springboks in their debut there won it all as hosts in "the new South Africa" with Mandela eagerly supporting and donning the Springbok rugby green and gold, a major symbol of the hateful and racist aparthied system and of Afrikaner masculinity to many blacks. Indeed he faced major opposition regarding them from even the ANC members in trying to reach out to many apprehensive whites. This was alreayd dramatized in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, centering on the budding friendship of Mandela and Springbok captain Francois Pienaar in the RWC backdrop, that came from the book Playing The Enemy. By then, the Springboks managed to get a non-white Springbok in the fold (Chester Williams) who succeeded on the team and not making up the numbers. Given Mandela's death last week and of the mourning period South Africa is still undergoing, I think it's pertinent during this time in how Madiba and the Springboks brought all South Africans--black, white, Asian, Coloured--together for a brighter future from oppressive segregation to integration. ESPN's 30 For 30's The 16th Man documentary with interviews and recollections from that time. Narrated and produced by Invictus' Mandela, Morgan Freeman. But Justice Bekebeke steals the show--NZ's importance in the anti-aparthied struggle through rugby is not forgotten too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MePCZ_hw9lM

Oh yes, the brief scenes of those racist, far-right Afrikaners, including those kids marching with their parents and of Eugene Terre'Blanche (may he be barbequing in Hell right now!), makes me sick.

Mandela speech at the 2000 Laureus World Sports Awards, the first ever. Makes his speech about the power of sports reprised at the end of The 16th Man

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one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist.

I am happy I do not have to open a newspaper or turn on the TV and be reminded of this man any more, that went on for what seemed an eternity.

The fact Gerry Adams was welcomed with open arms at the funeral, about sums up my feelings on this issue.

Edited by Michelle
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Oh hi Rol, how you doing :)



… seriously though, I read through this glowing tribute to Mandela, from many members, wondering if any of you know the history of this man. The real history that is. Read a newspaper, watch the TV news, and you won't see mention of his marriage with violence and terrorism. And I'm wondering why? Of course, that takes away from his image, but you can't wipe out history, unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Though, conveniently, for Mandela it seems to be the case.



This is a man who commanded the Umkhonto we sizwe, the military wing of the ANC. And though many have likened him to people like Martin Luther King, he was in fact more like Che Guevara in his approach and vision. With his command of this organization, he brought terror to South Africa, inspiring youths to take up violence to prop up their ideas. He promoted guerrilla warfare, and took his ideas around other nations in Africa - seeking monetary support for arms and weaponry. He was effectively the leader of South Africa's version to the Irish Republican Army ( Gerry Adams was a close personal friend - I am sure they had much to chat about )…



So while many have conveniently 'forgotten' about his past, it's not as simple as that for me. I appreciate he did many a good thing after his release from prison - but that does not wipe his slate clean, in terms of his historical record. I do not glorify men with blood on their hands, hence my earlier post.


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I appreciate your POV Michelle, and can understand it. It is a real dichotomy. I guess it comes down to two debates - how justified are violent action is you are taking on a system as odious and oppressive and violently enforced as Apartheid?, and did his actions in his later years, where his reputation as the last of the 20th century "saints" was cemented, wipe any earlier blots free? I don't think the answers to either of those is straightforward or obvious, but I do have to hand it to him that his generosity of spirit in his later years is pretty well the only factor that stood between the peaceful evolution of South Africa as it is today and the very real probability we faced in the 1980s of a very horrible and bloody racial civil war in the country.

And,, yeah, I'm doing fine. Can't wait to finish work before the Christmas break!

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I knew Mandela was a terrorist, perhaps even as far as a militant. At first it was simply targeting infrastructure to disrupt everyday life in South Africa, then he had to focus on terrorism action when the white population became violent. It was necessary.

He easily quotes in several interviews post Apartheid that it was necessary to fight back white oppression when peaceful avenues would simply not suffice. He often gets asked about other conflicts between 2 sides elsewhere in the world and simply mentions that one side simply fights back because it has been provoked by the other.

Yeah, civil war would have been the probability today if it had not been for F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela's efforts. Either between blacks, blacks and whites or whites vs blacks. Heck if de Klerk managed to make a compromise with Mandela and get a region of South Africa to succeed and form a new state, it would have been civil war for sure. Where black Africans living in that area would have refused to leave and likewise the white population outside of such a region refusing to leave. Not to mention the high probability of leaving the black population with ruins, where skyscrapers and other infrastructure in major cities would have been demolished in the wake of the white population leaving such places.

South Africans should be thankful for not having such a potentially bloody and destructive civil war.

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Mandela was militant yes, but so was this man, Malcolm X:

malcolm-x-thumb.jpg

And yet he is liked by a lot of African Americans as a symbol of their struggle.


I knew Mandela was a terrorist, perhaps even as far as a militant. At first it was simply targeting infrastructure to disrupt everyday life in South Africa, then he had to focus on terrorism action when the white population became violent. It was necessary.

He easily quotes in several interviews post Apartheid that it was necessary to fight back white oppression when peaceful avenues would simply not suffice. He often gets asked about other conflicts between 2 sides elsewhere in the world and simply mentions that one side simply fights back because it has been provoked by the other.

Yeah, civil war would have been the probability today if it had not been for F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela's efforts. Either between blacks, blacks and whites or whites vs blacks. Heck if de Klerk managed to make a compromise with Mandela and get a region of South Africa to succeed and form a new state, it would have been civil war for sure. Where black Africans living in that area would have refused to leave and likewise the white population outside of such a region refusing to leave. Not to mention the high probability of leaving the black population with ruins, where skyscrapers and other infrastructure in major cities would have been demolished in the wake of the white population leaving such places.

South Africans should be thankful for not having such a potentially bloody and destructive civil war.

Plus, Madiba had strong admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the American Civil Rights movement.

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