The Long Walk To Freedom Ends With Global Tributes To The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Australian political figures are amongst world leaders who have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary anti-apartheid campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and first black President of South Africa, who has died at the age of 95.

Mandela

The most celebrated and respected politician of our times, Mandela’s death marks the passing of a global leader noted for his courage, humanity, humility and grace.

Imprisoned by the white South African apartheid regime in 1962, Mandela spent most of the next 27 years in the Robben Island prison. He was released in February 1990 in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the instigation of then President F.W. de Klerk.

At free and democratic elections in 1994, Mandela was elected the first black President of South Africa. His administration dismantled the apartheid system but he saw his principal task as promoting national reconciliation.

Mandela retired in 1999 but soon “retired from retirement” and devoted his final years to speaking out on a wide range of issues.

In a moving tribute, Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, said of Mandela: “For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

“He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” Obama said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Mandela as a “truly great man”. He said Mandela was one of the great figures of the last century, the father of modern South Africa who built a “multicultural, pluralist democracy”.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who visited Mandela in prison and worked to dismantle apartheid, described Mandela as the greatest person he had ever met. [Read more…]


John Howard’s Comments on Nelson Mandela and Sanctions

These comments are extracted from the transcript of a press conference given by Prime Minister John Howard at the Royal Hotel in Durban, South Africa.

Extract of press conference remarks by Prime Minister John Howard.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Howard, in the 1980s you came under some criticism for your views on South Africa…. [Read more…]


Churlish Howard Praises Mandela’s Capacity To Forgive

Prime Minister Howard, the man who can fall to any occasion, has praised former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Speaking in Durban, Howard said:

Mandela, I think I have said before, is one of the most impressive people I have met in life and I think it’s a remarkable tribute to mankind’s capacity to forgive that a person who could have lost 27 years of his life in detention without, in the eyes of some, a proper process and the sort of appalling conditions in which he was imprisoned can complete the transition that he completed is an extraordinary thing. I think it’s also fair to say that De Klerk did make a contribution.

Note the qualification contained in the phrase in the eyes of some.


Nelson Mandela Inaugurated As President Of South Africa

Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as President of South Africa on May 9, 1994.

The inauguration followed his election as the nation’s first black president.

  • Listen to Mandela’s inauguration (11m)