Nelson Mandela – Dead at the Age of 95

Nelson Mandela – a worldwide hero

Thank you, Madiba

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Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s rights activist, dies
Source: The Associated Press
Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY
William M. Welch, USA TODAY 4:54 p.m. EST December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, whose successful struggle against South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and discrimination made him a global symbol for the cause of human rights and earned him the Nobel Prize, died Thursday. He was 95.

Mandela spent 27 years in South African prisons before his release in 1990. He negotiated with the nation’s white leaders toward establishing democracy and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994, serving one term.

“He probably will be remembered both inside and outside South Africa as a political saint,” said Michael Parks, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for his coverage of Mandela and South Africa’s struggles.

“He had flaws that he had to overcome. He had a temper he had to deal with. He had to deal with what was going to be life imprisonment. Not all his decisions were great decisions, but what political leader’s are,” Parks said.

As a young man, Mandela worked as a lawyer and political activist to dismantle white minority rule under which blacks were denied political rights and basic freedoms. He began by emulating the non-violent methods of India’s Mahatma Gandhi. But a turn to violence as the leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress that included a bombing campaign against government targets led to his imprisonment for over a quarter-century.

A worldwide campaign against apartheid pressured the regime into releasing Mandela in 1990 at age 71. He vowed to seek peace and reconciliation with South Africa’s whites — but only if blacks received full rights as citizens.

“He probably will be remembered both inside and outside South Africa as a political saint.”
— Michael Parks, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times
Amid tense negotiations with the government and the threat of violence on all sides, Mandela emerged as a leader who guided South Africa to a new democratic government guaranteeing equal rights to all citizens. Four years later, Mandela became his nation’s first black president.

Mandela’s charisma, stoic optimism and conciliation toward adversaries and oppressors established him as one of the world’s most recognizable statesmen of the 20th century and a hero of South African democracy.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy,” Mandela once said. “Then he becomes your partner.”

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with South Africa’s president at the time, Frederik Willem de Klerk, for working together to dismantle apartheid.


Nelson Mandela’s Life Story

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Nelson Mandela giving a speech in Court in 1964 stating that he is prepared to die as he was being sentenced to death.

BBC News Nelson Mandela released from prison

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Nelson Mandela speech delivered at the Nelson Mandela: An International tribute to Free South Africa concert on 16/4/1990,at Wembley stadium, two months after his release from prison on 11/2/1990

Nelson Mandela Congressional Gold Medal Speech

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Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa (Millennium Minutes)

Nelson Mandela Speech after being elected President


Nelson Mndela and his third wife Graca Machel

Nelson Mndela and his third wife Graca Machel

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Nelson Mandela's Prison Cell

Nelson Mandela’s Prison Cell

Nelson Mandela – on OPRAH WINFREY

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Nelson Mandela – on OPRAH WINFREY

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Nelson Mandela at the United Nations

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Nelson Mandela with first wife Evelyn

Nelson Mandela with first wife Evelyn

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Nelson Mandela meets with the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nelson Mandela meets with the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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132 Responses to Nelson Mandela – Dead at the Age of 95

  1. MIT PhD Candidate Sues CIA for the Records Surrounding the 1962 Arrest of Nelson Mandela.

    [WASHINGTON, DC] Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) PhD candidate Ryan Shapiro filed a lawsuit this morning against the Central Intelligence Agency over the spy agency’s failure to comply with his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records on recently deceased anti-apartheid activist and South African President, Nelson Mandela. Shapiro wants to know why the CIA viewed Mandela as a threat to American security, and what actions the Agency took to thwart Mandela’s efforts to secure racial justice and democracy in South Africa.

    Shapiro, a FOIA specialist, is an historian of the policing of dissent and the political functioning of national security. His pathbreaking FOIA work has already led the FBI to declare his MIT dissertation research a threat to national security. Shapiro also has FOIA requests for records on Mandela in motion with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Shapiro is represented by FOIA specialist attorney Jeffrey Light.

    Two Key Issues Regarding Today’s Filing Against the CIA:

    1) The CIA is widely and credibly believed to have been involved in Mandela’s 1962 arrest that led to his decades-long incarceration. Yet, the Agency has never admitted its role in this affair, and little specific public information exists on the matter. Shapiro’s FOIA efforts will begin to fill this massive hole in public knowledge of U.S. intelligence operations.

    2) Despite longstanding public knowledge of U.S. intelligence assistance to apartheid South Africa in general, and in Mandela’s arrest in particular, much of the U.S. and world press has paid distressingly little attention to these issues. Even in the wake of Mandela’s death, these issues, including the fact that Mandela remained on the U.S. terror watch list until 2008, have for the most part remained ignored or discounted. Shapiro’s efforts will bring much-needed attention to these vital topics, as well as to the U.S. intelligence community’s continued outrageous aversion to transparency.

    According to Shapiro:

    “Though the U.S. intelligence community is long believed to have been involved in Mandela’s arrest, little specific public information exists regarding this involvement. Similarly, though the U.S. intelligence community is long understood to have routinely provided information to the South African regime regarding the anti-apartheid movement, little specific public information exists about these activities either. Further, despite now being universally hailed as a hero and freedom fighter against gross injustice, Mandela was designated a terrorist by the United States government and remained on the U.S. terror watch list until 2008.

    In bringing suit against the CIA to compel compliance with my Freedom of Information Act request, I seek access to records that will begin answering the following questions:

    What was the extent and purpose of the U.S. intelligence community’s surveillance of Nelson Mandela prior to his arrest? What role did the U.S. intelligence community play in Mandela’s arrest and prosecution? What role did the U.S. intelligence community play in the broader effort to surveil and subvert the South African anti-apartheid movement? To what extent, and for what objectives, did the U.S. intelligence community surveil Mandela following his release from prison? To what extent, if any, did the U.S. intelligence community continue providing information regarding Mandela to the apartheid regime following Mandela’s release from prison? What information did the U.S. intelligence community provide American policymakers regarding Mandela and the South African anti-apartheid movement? To what extent, and to what ends, did the U.S. intelligence community surveil the anti-apartheid movement in the United States? How did the United States government come to designate Nelson Mandela a terrorist threat to this country? How did this designation remain unchanged until 2008? And what was the role of the U.S. intelligence community in this designation and the maintenance thereof?”

    What’s done in the dark will surely come to light.

  2. Yahtc says:

  3. rikyrah says:


    Santorum is wrong to compare Obamacare to Apartheid because unlike Obamacare, many Republicans supported Apartheid.

  4. rikyrah says:

    For those familiar with the movie Invictus, in real life, these are the two sons of the 1996 South African World Cup Rugby champion’s captain, Francois Pienaar. Sitting on his lap, the boy on the right asked innocently, “Madiba, how could they have put you in prison for 27 years when you didn’t steal anything?” Madiba responded, “Sweetheart, I did steal something. I stole freedom for our people.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Nelson Mandela – A personal eulogy
    By Liberal Librarian 41 Comments

    As I’m sure you’ve all determined by now, I’m a bit odd. And that was true in my childhood as well.

    I was probably the only freshman in high school who would stop off and buy copies of the New York Daily News and New York Times every morning. (Daily News for the sports and local news, NYT for the national and international news.) And Dan Rather’s broadcast was appointment viewing for me every night.

    Growing up I was, while not consumed, very mindful of the struggles of black South Africans to secure freedom from apartheid. For most of the 1980s, their struggles dominated the evening news and newspapers. I remember curling my lip in disgust when the Reagan administration pursued “quiet diplomacy” with the racist regime. That told me all I needed to know about Reagan, as if I didn’t know enough already.

    Growing up, Nelson Mandela was a mythic figure, the Once and Future King, kept on the isle of Avalon (Robben), awaiting to return to a nation in desperate need of him. And it finally happened in 1990.

    Back when CNN was a real news network, I remember its coverage of his release. I remember watching an old man, bent by years of hard labor but far from broken, ennobled by his hardships. This many years later the memories blend into one another, but I do recall thinking “Well, this is something unique.” The leadership of a despotic regime realized that to continue the despotism would be to wallow in a sea of blood, eventually its own blood, and moved to co-opt its sternest opponent.

    Except Mandela would not be co-opted. His position was still the position which he stated in his closing speech at his treason trial: full democracy, for black and white, with no half measures. If F.W. de Klerk thought he could preserve white privilege by freeing Mandela, he was sorely mistaken.

    And yet South Africa did something amazing. It saved itself. The road wasn’t smooth. There were outbursts of heartrending violence, especially between the ANC and the Zulu Inkatha Party. But through it all there was the example of Nelson Mandela, a secular saint, preaching both forgiveness and remembrance, so that the sins of the past never again occurred.

    His election as South Africa’s first fully democratically elected president was never in doubt. And yet, when he made his inaugural speech, the world changed. If a country as mired in violence and oppression as South Africa could change, then any other country could change. His election was important not only to his fellow citizens; it was a call to the world, to be better than what it was.

  6. Yahtc says:

    Nelson Mandela – a life for Peace
    When he closed his eyes on December 5th 2013, the Tiime stood still and the entire World goes down on their knees.
    Published by Wolfgang Hildebrandt

  7. Yahtc says:

    Uploaded on Dec 17, 2011 by John Arnold
    Nelson Mandela Tribute……from the Island of Tobago in the Caribbean.
    Voice -Shelly Ann Campbell

  8. Yahtc says:

    Published on Jul 17, 2013
    Tribute to Nelson Mandela
    by Zoolu, Durban South Africa

  9. rikyrah says:

    Ladies, where are the 3CHICS gifs for this


    Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.
    DECEMBER 6, 2013

    Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. “Let’s get together, and feel alright.” Yes, you will do that.

    You will make out that apartheid was just some sort of evil mystical space disease that suddenly fell from the heavens and settled on all of us, had us all, black or white, in its thrall, until Mandela appeared from the ether to redeem us. You will try to make Mandela a Magic Negro and you will fail. You will say that Mandela stood above all for forgiveness whilst scuttling swiftly over the details of the perversity that he had the grace to forgive.

    You will try to make out that apartheid was some horrid spontaneous historical aberration, and not the logical culmination of centuries of imperial arrogance. Yes, you will try that too. You will imply or audaciously state that its evils ended the day Mandela stepped out of jail. You will fold your hands and say the blacks have no-one to blame now but themselves.

      • Ametia says:

        They’re trying. Murdering Joe had on all the GOP usual suspects: James Baker, Colin Powell singing Mandela’s praises. When Ray-gun was so PRO-APARTHEID. And of course that simple Harold Ford Jr. was on.

    • Yahtc says:

      Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage, Supreme court of South Africa, Pretoria, April 20 1964.


      South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and could be one of the richest countries in the world. But it is a land of extremes and remarkable contrasts. The whites enjoy what may well be the highest standard of living in the world, whilst Africans live in poverty and misery. Forty per cent of the Africans live in hopelessly overcrowded and, in some cases, drought-stricken reserves, where soil erosion and the overworking of the soil makes it impossible for them to live properly off the land. Thirty per cent are labourers, labour tenants, and squatters on white farms and work and live under conditions similar to those of the serfs of the middle ages. The other 30 per cent live in towns where they have developed economic and social habits which bring them closer in many respects to white standards. Yet most Africans, even in this group, are impoverished by low incomes and high cost of living.

      The highest-paid and the most prosperous section of urban African life is in Johannesburg. Yet their actual position is desperate. The latest figures were given on 25 March 1964 by Mr Carr, manager of the Johannesburg non-European affairs department. The poverty datum line for the average African family in Johannesburg (according to Mr Carr’s department) is R42.84 per month. He showed that the average monthly wage is R32.24 and that 46 per cent of all African families in Johannesburg do not earn enough to keep them going.

      Poverty goes hand in hand with malnutrition and disease. The incidence of malnutrition and deficiency diseases is very high amongst Africans. Tuberculosis, pellagra, kwashiorkor, gastro-enteritis, and scurvy bring death and destruction of health. The incidence of infant mortality is one of the highest in the world. According to the medical officer of health for Pretoria, tuberculosis kills forty people a day (almost all Africans), and in 1961 there were 58,491 new cases reported. These diseases not only destroy the vital organs of the body, but they result in retarded mental conditions and lack of initiative, and reduce powers of concentration. The secondary results of such conditions affect the whole community and the standard of work performed by African labourers.

      The complaint of Africans, however, is not only that they are poor and the whites are rich, but that the laws which are made by the whites are designed to preserve this situation. There are two ways to break out of poverty. The first is by formal education, and the second is by the worker acquiring a greater skill at his work and thus higher wages. As far as Africans are concerned, both these avenues of advancement are deliberately curtailed by legislation.

      The present government has always sought to hamper Africans in their search for education. One of their early acts, after coming into power, was to stop subsidies for African school feeding. Many African children who attended schools depended on this supplement to their diet. This was a cruel act.

      There is compulsory education for all white children at virtually no cost to their parents, be they rich or poor. Similar facilities are not provided for the African children, though there are some who receive such assistance. African children, however, generally have to pay more for their schooling than whites. According to figures quoted by the South African Institute of Race Relations in its 1963 journal, approximately 40 per cent of African children in the age group between seven to fourteen do not attend school. For those who do attend school, the standards are vastly different from those afforded to white children. In 1960-61 the per capita government spending on African students at state-aided schools was estimated at R12.46. In the same years, the per capita spending on white children in the Cape Province (which are the only figures available to me) was R144.57. Although there are no figures available to me, it can be stated, without doubt, that the white children on whom R144.57 per head was being spent all came from wealthier homes than African children on whom R12.46 per head was being spent.

      The quality of education is also different. According to the Bantu Educational Journal, only 5,660 African children in the whole of South Africa passed their junior certificate in 1962, and in that year only 362 passed matric. This is presumably consistent with the policy of Bantu education about which the present Prime Minister said, during the debate on the Bantu Education Bill in 1953:

      “When I have control of native education I will reform it so that natives will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for them … People who believe in equality are not desirable teachers for natives. When my Department controls native education it will know for what class of higher education a native is fitted, and whether he will have a chance in life to use his knowledge.”

      The other main obstacle to the economic advancement of the African is the industrial colour-bar under which all the better jobs of industry are reserved for whites only. Moreover, Africans who do obtain employment in the unskilled and semi-skilled occupations which are open to them are not allowed to form trade unions which have recognition under the industrial conciliation act. This means that strikes of African workers are illegal, and that they are denied the right of collective bargaining which is permitted to the better-paid white workers. The discrimination in the policy of successive South African governments towards African workers is demonstrated by the so-called ‘civilised labour policy’ under which sheltered, unskilled government jobs are found for those white workers who cannot make the grade in industry, at wages which far exceed the earnings of the average African employee in industry.

      The government often answers its critics by saying that Africans in South Africa are economically better off than the inhabitants of the other countries in Africa. I do not know whether this statement is true and doubt whether any comparison can be made without having regard to the cost-of-living index in such countries. But even if it is true, as far as the African people are concerned it is irrelevant. Our complaint is not that we are poor by comparison with people in other countries, but that we are poor by comparison with the white people in our own country, and that we are prevented by legislation from altering this imbalance.

      The lack of human dignity experienced by Africans is the direct result of the policy of white supremacy. White supremacy implies black inferiority. Legislation designed to preserve white supremacy entrenches this notion. Menial tasks in South Africa are invariably performed by Africans. When anything has to be carried or cleaned the white man will look around for an African to do it for him, whether the African is employed by him or not. Because of this sort of attitude, whites tend to regard Africans as a separate breed. They do not look upon them as people with families of their own; they do not realise that they have emotions – that they fall in love like white people do; that they want to be with their wives and children like white people want to be with theirs; that they want to earn enough money to support their families properly, to feed and clothe them and send them to school. And what ‘house-boy’ or ‘garden-boy’ or labourer can ever hope to do this?

      Pass laws, which to the Africans are among the most hated bits of legislation in South Africa, render any African liable to police surveillance at any time. I doubt whether there is a single African male in South Africa who has not at some stage had a brush with the police over his pass. Hundreds and thousands of Africans are thrown into jail each year under pass laws. Even worse than this is the fact that pass laws keep husband and wife apart and lead to the breakdown of family life.

      Poverty and the breakdown of family life have secondary effects. Children wander about the streets of the townships because they have no schools to go to, or no money to enable them to go to school, or no parents at home to see that they go to school, because both parents (if there be two) have to work to keep the family alive. This leads to a breakdown in moral standards, to an alarming rise in illegitimacy, and to growing violence which erupts not only politically, but everywhere. Life in the townships is dangerous. There is not a day that goes by without somebody being stabbed or assaulted. And violence is carried out of the townships in to the white living areas. People are afraid to walk alone in the streets after dark. Housebreakings and robberies are increasing, despite the fact that the death sentence can now be imposed for such offences. Death sentences cannot cure the festering sore.

      Africans want to be paid a living wage. Africans want to perform work which they are capable of doing, and not work which the government declares them to be capable of. Africans want to be allowed to live where they obtain work, and not be endorsed out of an area because they were not born there. Africans want to be allowed to own land in places where they work, and not to be obliged to live in rented houses which they can never call their own. Africans want to be part of the general population, and not confined to living in their own ghettoes. African men want to have their wives and children to live with them where they work, and not be forced into an unnatural existence in men’s hostels. African women want to be with their menfolk and not be left permanently widowed in the Reserves. Africans want to be allowed out after eleven o’clock at night and not to be confined to their rooms like little children. Africans want to be allowed to travel in their own country and to seek work where they want to and not where the labour bureau tells them to. Africans want a just share in the whole of South Africa; they want security and a stake in society.

      Above all, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.

      But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs it will not change that policy.

      This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.

      During 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. 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.

      With thanks to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

      • Yahtc says:

        Ametia, this says it all, to support the article.

        The Black Africans in S.A. had suffered horrific conditions forever under the White rule.

    • Yahtc says:

      More from his statement from the dock at his trial for sabotage:

      The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to defend the rights of the African people which had been seriously curtailed by the South Africa Act, and which were then being threatened by the Native Land Act. For thirty-seven years – that is until 1949 – it adhered strictly to a constitutional struggle. It put forward demands and resolutions; it sent delegations to the Government in the belief that African grievances could be settled through peaceful discussion and that Africans could advance gradually to full political rights. But white governments remained unmoved, and the rights of Africans became less instead of becoming greater. In the words of my leader, Chief Lutuli, who became President of the ANC in 1952, and who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:
      “Who will deny that thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain, patiently, moderately, and modestly at a closed and barred door? What have been the fruits of moderation? The past thirty years have seen the greatest number of laws restricting our rights and progress, until today we have reached a stage where we have almost no rights at all.”
      Even after 1949, the ANC remained determined to avoid violence. At this time, however, there was a change from the strictly constitutional means of protest which had been employed in the past. The change was embodied in a decision which was taken to protest against apartheid legislation by peaceful, but unlawful, demonstrations against certain laws. Pursuant to this policy the ANC launched the Defiance Campaign, in which I was placed in charge of volunteers. This campaign was based on the principles of passive resistance. More than 8,500 people defied apartheid laws and went to jail. Yet there was not a single instance of violence in the course of this campaign on the part of any defier. I and nineteen colleagues were convicted for the role which we played in organising the campaign, but our sentences were suspended mainly because the judge found that discipline and non-violence had been stressed throughout. This was the time when the volunteer section of the ANC was established, and when the word ‘Amadelakufa’ was first used: this was the time when the volunteers were asked to take a pledge to uphold certain principles. Evidence dealing with volunteers and their pledges has been introduced into this case, but completely out of context. The volunteers were not, and are not, the soldiers of a black army pledged to fight a civil war against the whites. They were, and are, dedicated workers who are prepared to lead campaigns initiated by the ANC to distribute leaflets, to organise strikes, or do whatever the particular campaign required. They are called volunteers because they volunteer to face the penalties of imprisonment and whipping which are now prescribed by the legislature for such acts.
      During the defiance campaign, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed. These statutes provided harsher penalties for offences committed by way of protests against laws. Despite this, the protests continued and the ANC adhered to its policy of non-violence. In 1956, 156 leading members of the Congress alliance, including myself, were arrested on a charge of high treason and charges under the Suppression of Communism Act. The non-violent policy of the ANC was put in issue by the state, but when the court gave judgement some five years later, it found that the ANC did not have a policy of violence. We were acquitted on all counts, which included a count that the ANC sought to set up a communist state in place of the existing regime. The government has always sought to label all its opponents as communists. This allegation has been repeated in the present case, but as I will show, the ANC is not, and never has been, a communist organisation.
      In 1960 there was the shooting at Sharpeville, which resulted in the proclamation of a state of emergency and the declaration of the ANC as an unlawful organisation. My colleagues and I, after careful consideration, decided that we would not obey this decree. The African people were not part of the government and did not make the laws by which they were governed. We believed in the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that ‘the will of the people shall be the basis of authority of the government,’ and for us to accept the banning was equivalent to accepting the silencing of the Africans for all time. The ANC refused to dissolve, but instead went underground. We believed it was our duty to preserve this organisation which had been built up with almost fifty years of unremitting toil. I have no doubt that no self-respecting white political organisation would disband itself if declared illegal by a government in which it had no say.
      In 1960 the government held a referendum which led to the establishment of the republic. Africans, who constituted approximately 70 per cent of the population of South Africa, were not entitled to vote, and were not even consulted about the proposed constitutional change. All of us were apprehensive of our future under the proposed white republic, and a resolution was taken to hold an all-in African conference to call for a national convention, and to organise mass demonstrations on the eve of the unwanted republic, if the government failed to call the convention. The conference was attended by Africans of various political persuasions. I was the secretary of the conference and undertook to be responsible for organising the national stay-at-home which was subsequently called to coincide with the declaration of the republic. As all strikes by Africans are illegal, the person organising such a strike must avoid arrest. I was chosen to be this person, and consequently I had to leave my home and family and my practice and go into hiding to avoid arrest.
      The stay-at-home, in accordance with ANC policy, was to be a peaceful demonstration. Careful instructions were given to organisers and members to avoid any recourse to violence. The government’s answer was to introduce new and harsher laws, to mobilise its armed forces, and to send saracens, armed vehicles, and soldiers into the townships in a massive show of force designed to intimidate the people. This was an indication that the government had decided to rule by force alone, and this decision was a milestone on the road to Umkhonto.
      Some of this may appear irrelevant to this trial. In fact, I believe none of it is irrelevant because it will, I hope, enable the court to appreciate the attitude eventually adopted by the various persons and bodies concerned in the National Liberation Movement. When I went to jail in 1962, the dominant idea was that loss of life should be avoided. I now know that this was still so in 1963.
      I must return to June 1961. What were we, the leaders of our people, to do? Were we to give in to the show of force and the implied threat against future action, or were we to fight it and, if so, how?
      We had no doubt that we had to continue the fight. Anything else would have been abject surrender. Our problem was not whether to fight, but was how to continue the fight. We of the ANC had always stood for a non-racial democracy, and we shrank from any action which might drive the races further apart than they already were. But the hard facts were that fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation, and fewer and fewer rights. It may not be easy for this court to understand, but it is a fact that for a long time the people had been talking of violence – of the day when they would fight the white man and win back their country – and we, the leaders of the ANC, had nevertheless always prevailed upon them to avoid violence and to pursue peaceful methods. When some of us discussed this in May and June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a non-racial state by non-violence had achieved nothing, and that our followers were beginning to lose confidence in this policy and were developing disturbing ideas of terrorism.
      It must not be forgotten that by this time violence had, in fact, become a feature of the South African political scene. There had been violence in 1957 when the women of Zeerust were ordered to carry passes; there was violence in 1958 with the enforcement of cattle culling in Sekhukhuniland; there was violence in 1959 when the people of Cato Manor protested against pass raids; there was violence in 1960 when the government attempted to impose Bantu authorities in Pondoland. Thirty-nine Africans died in these disturbances. In 1961 there had been riots in Warmbaths, and all this time the Transkei had been a seething mass of unrest. Each disturbance pointed clearly to the inevitable growth among Africans of the belief that violence was the only way out – it showed that a government which uses force to maintain its rule teaches the oppressed to use force to oppose it. Already small groups had arisen in the urban areas and were spontaneously making plans for violent forms of political struggle. There now arose a danger that these groups would adopt terrorism against Africans, as well as whites, if not properly directed. Particularly disturbing was the type of violence engendered in places such as Zeerust, Sekhukhuniland, and Pondoland amongst Africans. It was increasingly taking the form, not of struggle against the government – though this is what prompted it – but of civil strife amongst themselves, conducted in such a way that it could not hope to achieve anything other than a loss of life and bitterness.
      At the beginning of June 1961, after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force.
      This conclusion was not easily arrived at. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe. We did so not because we desired such a course, but solely because the government had left us with no other choice. In the Manifesto of Umkhonto published on 16 December 1961, which is exhibit AD, we said:
      “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices – submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.”
      This was our feeling in June of 1961 when we decided to press for a change in the policy of the National Liberation Movement. I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.
      We who had taken this decision started to consult leaders of various organisations, including the ANC. I will not say whom we spoke to, or what they said, but I wish to deal with the role of the African National Congress in this phase of the struggle, and with the policy and objectives of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
      As far as the ANC was concerned, it formed a clear view which can be summarised as follows:
      It was a mass political organisation with a political function to fulfil. Its members had joined on the express policy of non-violence.
      · Because of all this, it could not and would not undertake violence. This must be stressed. One cannot turn such a body into the small, closely knit organisation required for sabotage. Nor would this be politically correct, because it would result in members ceasing to carry out this essential activity: political propaganda and organisation. Nor was it permissible to change the whole nature of the organisation.
      · On the other hand, in view of this situation I have described, the ANC was prepared to depart from its fifty-year-old policy of non-violence to this extent that it would no longer disapprove of properly controlled violence. Hence members who undertook such activity would not be subject to disciplinary action by the ANC.
      I say ‘properly controlled violence’ because I made it clear that if I formed the organisation I would at all times subject it to the political guidance of the ANC and would not undertake any different form of activity from that contemplated without the consent of the ANC. And I shall now tell the court how that form of violence came to be determined.
      As a result of this decision, Umkhonto was formed in November 1961. When we took this decision, and subsequently formulated our plans, the ANC heritage of non-violence and racial harmony was very much with us. We felt that the country was drifting towards a civil war in which blacks and whites would fight each other. We viewed the situation with alarm. Civil war could mean the destruction of what the ANC stood for; with civil war, racial peace would be more difficult than ever to achieve. We already have examples in South African history of the results of war. It has taken more than fifty years for the scars of the South African War to disappear. How much longer would it take to eradicate the scars of inter-racial civil war, which could not be fought without a great loss of life on both sides?
      The avoidance of civil war had dominated our thinking for many years, but when we decided to adopt violence as part of our policy, we realised that we might one day have to face the prospect of such a war. This had to be taken into account in formulating our plans. We required a plan which was flexible and which permitted us to act in accordance with the needs of the times; above all, the plan had to be one which recognised civil war as the last resort, and left the decision on this question to the future. We did not want to be committed to civil war, but we wanted to be ready if it became inevitable.
      Four forms of violence were possible. There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method and to exhaust it before taking any other decision.
      In the light of our political background the choice was a logical one. Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum and, if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could become a reality. This is what we felt at the time, and this is what we said in our manifesto (exhibit AD):
      “We of Umkhonto we Sizwe have always sought to achieve liberation without bloodshed and civil clash. We hope, even at this late hour, that our first actions will awaken everyone to a realisation of the disastrous situation to which the nationalist policy is leading. We hope that we will bring the government and its supporters to their senses before it is too late, so that both the government and its policies can be changed before matters reach the desperate state of civil war.”
      The initial plan was based on a careful analysis of the political and economic situation of our country. We believed that South Africa depended to a large extent on foreign capital and foreign trade. We felt that planned destruction of power plants, and interference with rail and telephone communications, would tend to scare away capital from the country, make it more difficult for goods from the industrial areas to reach the seaports on schedule, and would in the long run be a heavy drain on the economic life of the country, thus compelling the voters of the country to reconsider their position.
      Attacks on the economic life-lines of the country were to be linked with sabotage on government buildings and other symbols of apartheid. These attacks would serve as a source of inspiration to our people. In addition, they would provide an outlet for those people who were urging the adoption of violent methods and would enable us to give concrete proof to our followers that we had adopted a stronger line and were fighting back against government violence.
      In addition, if mass action were successfully organised, and mass reprisals taken, we felt that sympathy for our cause would be roused in other countries, and that greater pressure would be brought to bear on the South African government.
      This then was the plan. Umkhonto was to perform sabotage, and strict instructions were given to its members right from the start, that on no account were they to injure or kill people in planning or carrying out operations. These instructions have been referred to in the evidence of ‘Mr X’ and ‘Mr Z.’
      The affairs of the Umkhonto were controlled and directed by a national high command, which had powers of co-option and which could, and did, appoint regional commands. The high command was the body which determined tactics and targets and was in charge of training and finance. Under the high command there were regional commands which were responsible for the direction of the local sabotage groups. Within the framework of the policy laid down by the national high command, the regional commands had authority to select the targets to be attacked. They had no authority to go beyond the prescribed framework and thus had no authority to embark upon acts which endangered life, or which did not fit into the overall plan of sabotage. For instance, Umkhonto members were forbidden ever to go armed into operation. Incidentally, the terms high command and regional command were an importation from the Jewish national underground organisation Irgun Zvai Leumi, which operated in Israel between 1944 and 1948.
      Umkhonto had its first operation on 16 December 1961, when Government buildings in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban were attacked. The selection of targets is proof of the policy to which I have referred. Had we intended to attack life we would have selected targets where people congregated and not empty buildings and power stations. The sabotage which was committed before 16 December 1961 was the work of isolated groups and had no connection whatever with Umkhonto. In fact, some of these and a number of later acts were claimed by other organisations.
      The Manifesto of Umkhonto was issued on the day that operations commenced. The response to our actions and manifesto among the white population was characteristically violent. The government threatened to take strong action, and called upon its supporters to stand firm and to ignore the demands of the Africans. The whites failed to respond by suggesting change; they responded to our call by suggesting the laager.
      In contrast, the response of the Africans was one of encouragement. Suddenly there was hope again. Things were happening. People in the townships became eager for political news. A great deal of enthusiasm was generated by the initial successes, and people began to speculate on how soon freedom would be obtained. But we in Umkhonto weighed up the white response with anxiety. The lines were being drawn. The whites and blacks were moving into separate camps, and the prospects of avoiding a civil war were made less. The white newspapers carried reports that sabotage would be punished by death. If this was so, how could we continue to keep Africans away from terrorism?
      Already scores of Africans had died as a result of racial friction. In 1920 when the famous leader, Masabala, was held in Port Elizabeth jail, twenty-four of a group of Africans who had gathered to demand his release were killed by the police and white civilians. In 1921 more than one hundred Africans died in the Bulhoek affair. In 1924 over two hundred Africans were killed when the Administrator of South-West Africa led a force against a group which had rebelled against the imposition of dog tax. On 1 May 1950, eighteen Africans died as a result of police shootings during the strike. On 21 March 1960, sixty-nine unarmed Africans died at Sharpeville.
      How many more Sharpevilles would there be in the history of our country? And how many more Sharpevilles could the country stand without violence and terror becoming the order of the day? And what would happen to our people when that stage was reached? In the long run we felt certain we must succeed, but at what cost to ourselves and the rest of the country? And if this happened, how could black and white ever live together again in peace and harmony? These were the problems that faced us, and these were our decisions.
      Experience convinced us that rebellion would offer the government limitless opportunities for the indiscriminate slaughter of our people. But it was precisely because the soil of South Africa is already drenched with the blood of innocent Africans that we felt it our duty to make preparations as a long-term undertaking to use force in order to defend ourselves against force. If war were inevitable, we wanted the fight to be conducted on terms most favourable to our people. The fight which held out prospects best for us and the least risk of life to both sides was guerrilla warfare. We decided, therefore, in our preparations for the future, to make provision for the possibility of guerrilla warfare.
      All whites undergo compulsory military training, but no such training was given to Africans. It was in our view essential to build up a nucleus of trained men who would be able to provide the leadership which would be required if guerrilla warfare started. We had to prepare for such a situation before it became too late to make proper preparations. It was also necessary to build up a nucleus of men trained in civil administration and other professions, so that Africans would be equipped to participate in the government of this country as soon as they were allowed to do so.
      At this stage it was decided that I should attend the conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for central, east, and southern Africa, which was to be held early in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and, because of our need for preparation, it was also decided that, after the conference, I would undertake a tour of the African states with a view to obtaining facilities for the training of soldiers, and that I would also solicit scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans. Training in both fields would be necessary, even if changes came about by peaceful means. Administrators would be necessary who would be willing and able to administer a non-racial state and so would men be necessary to control the army and police force of such a state.
      It was on this note that I left South Africa to proceed to Addis Ababa as a delegate of the ANC. My tour was a success. Wherever I went I met sympathy for our cause and promises of help. All Africa was united against the stand of white South Africa, and even in London I was received with great sympathy by political leaders, such as Mr Gaitskell and Mr Grimond. In Africa I was promised support by such men as Julius Nyerere, now President of Tanganyika; Mr Kawawa, then Prime Minister of Tanganyika; Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; General Abboud, President of the Sudan; Habib Bourguiba, President of Tunisia; Ben Bella, now President of Algeria; Modibo Keita, President of Mali; Leopold Senghor, President of Senegal; Sekou Toure, President of Guinea; President Tubman of Liberia; and Milton Obote, Prime Minister of Uganda. It was Ben Bella who invited me to visit Oujda, the Headquarters of the Algerian Army of National Liberation, the visit which is described in my diary, one of the exhibits.
      I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them. Notes of lectures which I received in Algeria are contained in exhibit 16, produced in evidence. Summaries of books on guerrilla warfare and military strategy have also been produced. I have already admitted that these documents are in my writing, and I acknowledge that I made these studies to equip myself for the role which I might have to play if the struggle drifted into guerrilla warfare. I approached this question as every African nationalist should do. I was completely objective. The court will see that I attempted to examine all types of authority on the subject – from the east and from the west, going back to the classic work of Clausewitz, and covering such a variety as Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara on the one hand, and the writings on the Anglo-Boer War on the other. Of course, these notes are merely summaries of the books I read and do not contain my personal views.
      I also made arrangements for our recruits to undergo military training. But here it was impossible to organise any scheme without the cooperation of the ANC offices in Africa. I consequently obtained the permission of the ANC in South Africa to do this. To this extent then there was a departure from the original decision of the ANC, but it applied outside South Africa only. The first batch of recruits actually arrived in Tanganyika when I was passing through that country on my way back to South Africa.
      I returned to South Africa and reported to my colleagues on the results of my trip. On my return I found that there had been little alteration in the political scene save that the threat of a death penalty for sabotage had now become a fact. The attitude of my colleagues in Umkhonto was much the same as it had been before I left. They were feeling their way cautiously and felt that it would be a long time before the possibilities of sabotage were exhausted. In fact, the view was expressed by some that the training of recruits was premature. This is recorded by me in the document which is exhibit R.14. After a full discussion, however, it was decided to go ahead with the plans for military training because of the fact that it would take many years to build up a sufficient nucleus of trained soldiers to start a guerrilla campaign, and whatever happened, the training would be of value.

      I am the first accused. I hold a bachelor’s degree in arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961.
      At the outset, I want to say that the suggestion made by the state in its opening that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did, both as an individual and as a leader of my people, because of my experience in South Africa and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsider might have said.
      In my youth in the Transkei I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle. This is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me in this case.
      Having said this, I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the whites.
      I admit immediately that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, and that I played a prominent role in its affairs until I was arrested in August 1962.
      In the statement which I am about to make I shall correct certain false impressions which have been created by state witnesses. Amongst other things, I will demonstrate that certain of the acts referred to in the evidence were not and could not have been committed by Umkhonto. I will also deal with the relationship between the African National Congress and Umkhonto, and with the part which I personally have played in the affairs of both organisations. I shall deal also with the part played by the Communist Party. In order to explain these matters properly, I will have to explain what Umkhonto set out to achieve; what methods it prescribed for the achievement of these objects, and why these methods were chosen. I will also have to explain how I became involved in the activities of these organisations.
      I deny that Umkhonto was responsible for a number of acts which clearly fell outside the policy of the organisation, and which have been charged in the indictment against us. I do not know what justification there was for these acts, but to demonstrate that they could not have been authorised by Umkhonto, I want to refer briefly to the roots and policy of the organisation.
      I have already mentioned that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto. I, and the others who started the organisation, did so for two reasons. Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalise and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.

      But the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism. We who formed Umkhonto were all members of the African National Congress, and had behind us the ANC tradition of non-violence and negotiation as a means of solving political disputes. We believe that South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it, and not to one group, be it black or white. We did not want an interracial war, and tried to avoid it to the last minute. If the court is in doubt about this, it will be seen that the whole history of our organisation bears out what I have said, and what I will subsequently say, when I describe the tactics which Umkhonto decided to adopt. I want, therefore, to say something about the African National Congress.

  10. Yahtc says:

    Nelson Mandela Tribute – Boston City Singers and Imilonji KaNtu Cho

    Published on Jun 23, 2012 by third 20955
    Best viewed in HD. A tribute to Nelson Mandela! The song is Usilethela Uxolo”, which means “bring us peace”.

  11. Yahtc says:

  12. Yahtc says:

    “Tribute to Nelson Mandela (Swahili Version)”

    Published on Sep 26, 2013 by I.O.G. Studios
    Tribute to Nelson Mandela… Song talking about the sacrifes that This Great African Leader made for His fellow countrymen to be free…. Song done by Fostino Africa Ndayizeye featuring Kenny.B aka V.O.V … Lets promote the SPIRIT OF UMOJA (ONENESS)

  13. Yahtc says:

    Published on Dec 6, 2013 by Steven Sterling
    I dedicate this song to the memory of Nelson Mandela – RIP (1918-2013)

  14. Yahtc says:

  15. Yahtc says:

    Madiba – “The Mandela Tribute Song” by Dr Cyril Harrisberg

    Published on Nov 19, 2013 by Cyril Harrisberg

    I composed the Nelson Mandela Tribute Song as a tribute to the man who has done so much for humanity, to encourage the rest of our leaders and the people in our country to spread and hold on to the good values that Tata Madiba has inspired in so many of us. I dreamt the lyrics and the music for the song when I heard that Nelson Mandela was not well. Having been in ill health myself over the past 5 years, I wish to send a message of gratitude to Madiba for what he has achieved for our Rainbow Nation and also to honour him in his passing.

    The lyrics call on all South Africans to enter into a value system of tolerance and goodwill towards the people of our diverse and wonderful rainbow nation, and to hand these values down to our children. This is an uplifting song not only for South Africa but for the international community.

  16. Yahtc says:

    Nelson Mandela Tribute: Now is the Time by Lorraine Klaasen

    Published on Dec 5, 2013 by CBC Music
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    The world lost civil rights leader Nelson Mandela today. The former South African President passed away at the age of 94, after a lifetime spent fighting oppression and promoting peace.

    Music played a vital role in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. So CBC Music commissioned Montreal singer Lorraine Klassen to write a song to celebrate Mandela’s life. Lorraine was born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, and she’s the daughter of the legendary South African jazz singer, Thandie Klassen. Thandie was one of Nelson Mandela’s favourite singers. She performed at his wedding and at his inauguration.

    Here’s her daughter, Lorraine Klassen, with “Now is the Time.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    The New Real America
    by BooMan
    Fri Dec 6th, 2013 at 10:54:19 AM EST

    Here in the United States, particularly among conservatives, the African National Congress was considered to be a communist organization. So, sophomore Barack Obama was inviting members of a communist terrorist organization to speak at his school. Despite this, he somehow became president of the United States about 25 years later. This is perplexing to people like Dinesh D’Souza who think an embrace of the ANC should be fatal to a political career. It’s maddening to people like Sarah Palin who thinks the president should never have palled around with terrorists. In her “real America,” a movement to raise black consciousness was racism in reverse, and the socialism espoused by most in the African independence movement (including Barack Obama Sr.) was morally suspect and un-American.

    It should be noted that Nelson Mandela addressed these accusations at his trial in a speech that he made in his own defense. After the speech, the public did not hear from him again for more than 25 years. He explained that his organization embarked on a program of sabotage that explicitly ruled out terrorism, guerrilla warfare, or open revolution. He explained that the communists were useful allies but held some fundamentally irreconcilable beliefs.

    I joined the ANC in 1944, and in 1952 I became Transvaal President and Deputy National President. In my younger days I held the view that the policy of admitting communists to the ANC, and the close co-operation which existed at times on specific issues between the ANC and the Communist Party, would lead to a watering down of the concept of African Nationalism. At that stage I was a member of the African National Congress Youth League, and was one of a group which moved for the expulsion of communists from the ANC. This proposal was heavily defeated, and amongst those who voted against the proposal were some of the most conservative sections of African political opinion. They defended the policy on the ground that from its inception the ANC was formed and built up, not as a political party with one school of political thought, but as a Parliament of the African people accommodating people of various political views –convictions, all united by the common goal of national liberation. I was eventually won over to this point of view and I have upheld it ever since.
    It is perhaps difficult for white South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accept communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences, amongst those fighting against oppression, is a luxury which cannot be afforded. What is more, for many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and as their equals; who were prepared to eat with us; talk with us, live with us, and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with the Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society. Because of this, there are many Africans who today tend to equate freedom with communism. They are supported in this belief by a legislature which brands all exponents of democratic government and African freedom as communists and bannned many of them, who are not communists, under the Suppression of Communism Act. Although My Lord I am not a communist and I have never been a member of the Communist Party, I myself have been banned, have been named under that pernicious Act because of the role I played in the Defiance Campaign. I have also been banned and convicted under that Act.

    It is not only in internal politics that we count communists as amongst those who support our cause. In the international field, communist countries have always come to our aid. In the United Nations and other Councils of the world the communist bloc has supported the Afro-Asian struggle against colonialism and often seems to be more sympathetic to our plight than some of the Western powers. Although there is a universal condemnation of apartheid, the communist bloc speaks out against it with a louder voice than most of the western world. In these circumstances, it would take a brash young politician, such as I was in 1949, to proclaim that the Communists are our enemies.

    Another way of putting this is that white South Africans, as well as many white Brits and white Americans, did not fully appreciate how much the Soviets gained from the West’s institutional racism. Mandela explained the phenomenon very well. But he and his movement were not communists.

    It is true, as I have already stated that I have been influenced by Marxist thought. But this is also true of many of the leaders of the new independent states. Such widely different persons as Gandhi, Nehru, Nkrumah, and Nasser all acknowledge this fact. We all accept the need for some form of socialism to enable our people to catch up with the advanced countries of the world and to overcome their legacy of extreme poverty. But this does not mean we are Marxists. Indeed, My Lord, for my own part, I believe it is open to debate whether the Communist Party has any specific role to play at this particular stage of our political struggle. The basic task at the present moment is the removal of race discrimination and the attainment of democratic rights on the basis of the Freedom Charter, and a struggle which can best be led by a strong ANC. In so far, My Lord, as that Party furthers this task, I welcome its assistance. I realise that it is one of the main means by which people of all races can be drawn into our struggle.
    But from my reading of Marxist literature and from conversations with Marxists, I have gained the impression that communists regard the parliamentary system of the work – of the West as undemocratic and reactionary. But, on the contrary, I am an admirer of such a system.

  18. BREAKING: President Obama and the First lady to travel to South Africa next week to pay respects to Nelson Mandela.

  19. Ametia says:

    Don’t Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He’s Honored Now, But Was Hated Then
    By Peter Beinart
    December 5th 20137:40 pm

    If we turn the late South African leader into a nonthreatening moral icon, we’ll forget a key lesson from his life: America isn’t always a force for freedom.

    Now that he’s dead, and can cause no more trouble, Nelson Mandela is being mourned across the ideological spectrum as a saint. But not long ago, in Washington’s highest circles, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Unless we remember why, we won’t truly honor his legacy.

    In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan placed Mandela’s African National Congress on America’s official list of “terrorist” groups. In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution urging that he be released from jail. In 2004, after Mandela criticized the Iraq War, an article in National Review said his “vicious anti-Americanism and support for Saddam Hussein should come as no surprise, given his longstanding dedication to communism and praise for terrorists.” As late as 2008, the ANC remained on America’s terrorism watch list, thus requiring the 89-year-old Mandela to receive a special waiver from the secretary of State to visit the U.S.

  20. rikyrah says:

    pareene @pareene Follow
    Imagine being young in the 1980s and supporting apartheid. Those people still run most of the conservative movement.
    11:32 PM – 5 Dec 2013

  21. rikyrah says:

    Mandela Taught a Continent to Forgive
    Published: December 5, 2013

    ACCRA, Ghana — FOR years, it seemed as though only one photograph of Nelson Mandela existed. It showed him with bushy hair, plump cheeks, and a look of serious determination. But it was a black-and-white shot, so grainy it looked ancient — a visual documentation of an era and an individual whose time had long passed.

    In the early 1960s, fed up with the systematic oppression and inhumane treatment of indigenous Africans, Mandela successfully proposed a plan of violent tactics and guerrilla warfare, essentially forming the military wing of the African National Congress. Within a few years, this martial division, aptly named Umkhonto we Sizwe or Spear of the Nation, was discovered and its leadership detained. In 1964 Mandela was found guilty of sabotage, and ordered to serve a life sentence.

    During his trial, in lieu of testimony, he delivered a speech from the dock. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities,” he said. “It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

    I was 5 years old when Nelson Mandela became prisoner number 46664, and was banished to spend the remainder of his years on Robben Island, five square miles of land floating just north of Cape Town. Robben Island had been the site of a colony for lepers, a lunatic asylum and a series of prisons. It was a place of exile, punishment and isolation, a place where people were sent and then forgotten.

    But the haunting image in that photograph did not let us forget. In the 1970s, I was a member of the African Youth Command, an activist group that protested against social and political injustices. We idolized Mandela. We hung posters of that photograph in our dormitory rooms; we printed it on pamphlets. We refused to let Mandela fade into irrelevance; we marched, held demonstrations, staged concerts and boycotts, signed petitions and issued press statements. We did everything we could to decry the evils of apartheid and keep his name on people’s tongues. We even burned effigies of John Vorster, Jimmy Kruger and other proponents of that government-sanctioned white supremacy.

    Freedom on the African continent was a reality for which we were willing to fight. Nevertheless, I think we’d resigned ourselves to the likelihood that Mandela would remain a prisoner until his death, and South Africans would not experience equality until well after our lifetimes. Then on Feb. 11, 1990, the miraculous happened; Mandela was released.

    The world was spellbound. We wondered what we would do if we were in his shoes. We all waited for an indescribable rage, a call for retribution that any reasonable mind would have understood. Twenty-seven years of his life, gone. Day after day of hard labor in a limestone quarry, chipping away at white rock under a bright and merciless sun — without benefit of protective eyewear — had virtually destroyed his tear ducts and, for years, robbed Mandela even of his ability to cry.

    Yet, the man insisted on forgiveness. “To go to prison because of your convictions,” he said, “and be prepared to suffer for what you believe in, is something worthwhile. It is an achievement for a man to do his duty on earth irrespective of the consequences.”

    By the time I finally came face to face with Nelson Mandela, he had already been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and elected president of a land in which he and all other black people had previously been refused suffrage. He had become an icon, not only of hope, but also of the possibility for healing.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Mandela to be buried Dec. 15

    By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA — Dec. 6, 2013 8:39 AM EST

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s president says Nelson Mandela will be buried on Sunday, Dec. 15.

    President Jacob Zuma also said Friday that a memorial service in a
    Johannesburg stadium will be held for the anti-apartheid leader on
    Tuesday, Dec. 10. Zuma said that Mandela’s body will lie in state at
    government buildings in Pretoria from Wednesday, Dec. 11, until the

    He said this coming Sunday, Dec. 8, will be a national day of prayer and reflection.

  23. Mandela, in His Own Words

    The man that the world is mourning today was a son, a husband, a father, a lawyer, a freedom fighter, a president, a statesman and a lot more. When Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday, he left words behind that were uttered in court, written in letters from prison, spoken to accept the Nobel Peace Prize and more. Here are 10 quotes from Mandela to celebrate a long life committed to justice.

  24. Ametia says:

    Nelson Mandela, the conscience of the world
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: December 5

    His smile was like sunshine, but Nelson Mandela was made of steel. It was his strength of character, repeatedly tested throughout his long and impossibly full life, that made him one of the towering political figures of our time.

    “Our nation has lost its greatest son,” South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday as he announced Mandela’s death at age 95. Zuma was being modest. Mandela belonged to the world.

  25. Mandela’s funeral confirmed for December 15th @ABCNews24

  26. Live video

    Mourners gather to remember Nelson Mandela

  27. South Africans mourn, celebrate life of Nelson Mandela

    South Africans mourn, celebrate life of Nelson Mandela

    People across South Africa commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers Friday as the government prepared funeral plans for the former president.

    JOHANNESBURG — As flags were lowered to half mast, people across South Africa commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday as the government prepared funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe.

    A black SUV-type vehicle containing Mandela’s coffin, draped in South Africa’s flag, pulled away from Mandela’s home after midnight, escorted by military motorcycle outriders, to take the body to a military morgue in Pretoria, the capital.

    Many South Africans heard the news of his death, which was announced just before midnight, upon waking Friday, and they flocked to his home in Johannesburg’s leafy Houghton neighborhood. One woman hugged her two sons over a floral tribute.

    In a church service in Cape Town, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa’s first black president would want South Africans themselves to be his “memorial” by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.

    “All of us here in many ways amazed the world, a world that was expecting us to be devastated by a racial conflagration,” Tutu said, recalling how Mandela helped unite South Africa as it dismantled apartheid, the cruel system of white rule, and prepared for all-race elections in 1994.

    In closing his prayer, Tutu said: “God, thank you for the gift of Madiba.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM PST
    Farewell Madiba, Who We Once Called Nelson Mandela
    by shanikka

    I was asked to write an obituary about Madiba for the front page. In keeping with the rather clinical nature of obituaries for public consumption, I therefore wrote the diary as a chronicle of Madiba’s life rather than as the personal testament I might have otherwise authored.

    This does not mean, and should not be taken by anyone to mean, that my heart is not broken into a million pieces upon his death. Madiba and the struggle in South Africa were transformative for me, personally, at a very young age. Indeed, the first political action I ever undertook, as a young adult, was at Stanford University in connection with the struggle to end South African apartheid.

    Madiba has Gone Home to join the Ancestors. He is, as we speak, being embraced and welcomed Home by those whose lives were, like Madiba’s, dedicated to the liberation of the members of the African diaspora and, thus, humanity.

    Like me, Madiba was a lawyer. He was a political leader. He was a man who knew the value of non-violence and the place for counter-terrorism and armed self-defense against racial oppression. Yet he was also a soft-spoken man. A reflective man. An intellectual man. A spiritual and religious man. There are many words and phrases I could have used to describe his complexity as the extraordinary human being that he was.

    My ancestors were African, thus making me an African even though I have never seen the Motherland and cannot ever identify my ancestors stolen from our ancestral home in Africa for a complete sense of my true family since my past is opaque, like so many slave-descended Africans here in the United States, any further back than the 1880’s. Thus, the cause of Nelson Mandela in South Africa was the cause of my people here in the United States: the true equality of the Black race despite white supremacy. I may have no current need for the methods used by Madiba and the other members of the ANC, being in a different time and in a different place, but I understand those choices and why they were necessary at the time even if they are presumably not necessary today.

    All that being said, throughout his life Madiba carried with him a fire in the belly for justice for the liberation of his people that is truly reflected in only one word. A word that became the rallying cry for revolution in South Africa, that many worldwide learned and used in solidarity with that cause. So, in reflecting upon and grieving his passing, it is a word that I will whisper tonight, in his memory. I will shout it, between reflection, tears of sorrow at his passing, tears of thanks for his long struggle on behalf of the people with whom I share a race, and tears of joy that he is now, after much suffering and much victory, now at his much-deserved resting peace:



    AMANDLA NGAWETHU!!! (The Power to the People)

    Rest in Peace, Tata (“Father”) Madiba.

  29. Liza says:

    I have always been impressed by what Nelson Mandela accomplished after his 27 year incarceration while in his 70s and beyond. It was as though he had this destiny to fulfill and age was irrelevant. We watched him from another continent, but it was still amazing because he was one those rare, morally advanced leaders who affects the whole world. And, because he lived, we did, in fact, make a few steps forward. As PBO said, “he belongs to the ages,” and he will inspire us forever. We were so fortunate to have Nelson Mandela for 95 years. May he rest in peace.

  30. llip2 says:

    RIP Nelson Mandela.

  31. Nelson Mandela Photos36

    First Lady Michelle Obama Visits with Nelson Mandela at his home.

  32. Yahtc says:

  33. Yahtc says:

    Nelson Mandela – Hanson Baliruno New Ugandan music 2013

  34. Pope John Paul II and South African President Nels

    Pope John Paul II and South African President Nelson Mandela talk on September 16, 1995 at the presidential guest house in Pretoria.

  35. Yahtc says:

    “The Rainbow Song – A celebration of Nelson Mandela”

    Published on Jun 25, 2013
    The Rainbow Song, performed by Memeza African Choir featuring Marika Hattingh and a group of international musicians, is a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and work, and tribute to his contribution to world peace and reconciliation. Income from sales of the song will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Edzimkulu and charities approved by the Nelson Mandela Foundation dedicated to improving the life of children worldwide.

  36. Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana

    Princess Diana met President Nelson Mandela in March 1997 while on a visit to Cape Town, five months before her death.

  37. vitaminlover says:

    Wow! President Mandela commanded much respect and love worldwide.

  38. Yahtc says:

    This is a song popular in Uruguay:

    Uploaded on Aug 9, 2008 by salsero
    Nelson Mandela.Cacho Labandera.Canto popular uruguayo

  39. Eight men, among them anti-apartheid lea

    Eight men, among them anti-Apartheid leader and member of the African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia trial, leave the Palace of Justice in Pretoria, June, 16 1964, with their fists raised in defiance through the barred windows of the prison car.

  40. Yahtc says:

    Uploaded on Feb 4, 2011 by Greg Engle
    This biographical song about Nelson Mandela is from Greg Engle’s CD “Take It Personally.”

  41. Yahtc says:

    What a beautiful blessing the world received through the life and dedication of Nelson Mandala!

    Published on Jul 5, 2013 by Mcsclion

  42. Ametia says:

    Read the most important speech Nelson Mandela ever gave
    By Max Fisher
    December 5 at 6:36 pm

    Nelson Mandela was already 45 years old when, on April 20, 1964, he gave the defining speech of the anti-Apartheid movement, from the dock of a Pretoria courtroom.

    Mandela had been in prison for two years already, for inciting workers to strike, when he was put on the stand again as part of the Rivonia Trials. Named for the Johannesburg suburb where South African police had arrested 19 ANC leaders, the trials were meant to be a blow against the group. But Mandela, charged with three counts of sabotage, seized the moment to speak directly to South Africa and the world.

    What began as a statement by an accused prison became, over the 29 minutes it took Mandela to deliver it, his best known and most important speech. It was a recounting of his story up to that point, an expression of his views and a morally forceful argument on behalf of his cause. You will surely know it from the final lines:

    Read on

  43. Scene in front of Nelson Mandela's house. It's 1-30am

    Scene in front of Nelson Mandela’s house. It’s 1:30am.

  44. I wish I still had my “No Apartheid T-Shirt”. I wore it out!

  45. Amandla! Awethu!

    Power To The People!

  46. Nelson Mandela’s Life Story

  47. President Obama remembers Nelson Mandela: “A man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.”

  48. Ametia says:

    PBO didn’t waste any time getting away from the media jackals. *dorpsmic* BYE

  49. Ametia says:

    Obama: “Through his fierce dignity & unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others—Madiba transformed South Africa.”

  50. Ametia says:

    The photos of Madiba are wonderful.

  51. Ametia says:

    Madiba: A symbol of the power of good

    05 Dec 2013 23:34| Mark Gevisser

    Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a universal symbol for goodness and wisdom, for the ability to change, and the power of reconciliation.

    The words “Nelson Mandela is dead” feel strange in the mouth today, almost impossible to say, given the unique way he was both martyred and canonised during his lifetime. He embodies a paradox: on the one hand we love him for his humanity; on the other, he already passed long ago from the world of the flesh. He is a peak of moral authority, rising above the soulless wasteland of the 20th century; he is a universal symbol for goodness and wisdom, for the ability to change, and the power of reconciliation. In person, he was not notably affectionate, but his image beams a very particular sensation: you just look at him and you feel held, hugged.

    Mandela epitomised those instincts we most associate with childhood: trust, goodness, optimism; an ability to vanquish the night’s demons with the knowledge that the sun will rise in the morning. But he also made us feel good, and warm, and safe, because he found a way to play an ideal father, beyond the confines of his biological family or even his national one. He was the father we would all have wanted if we could have designed one. He was wise with age, benignly powerful, comfortingly irascible, stern when we needed containing, breathtakingly courageous, affirming when we needed praise – and, of course, possessed of the two childlike qualities that make for the best of fathers: an exhilarating playfulness and a bottomless capacity to forgive.

  52. 7 ways Mandela changed South Africa

    Almost two decades have passed since the end of legalized racial segregation in South Africa, yet the abolition of apartheid remains the biggest legacy of Nelson Mandela.

    Anyone aged 18 or under will not have witnessed the public separation of whites and blacks enshrined in law, yet that was the daily reality in a country where races had been kept apart since colonial times.

    South Africa continued to enforce racial division, denying blacks the right to vote, until Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 allowed him to begin negotiations with then-president Frederik Willem de Klerk. Apartheid ended with the arrival of multi-racial elections in 1994.

    This transformation was achieved almost entirely peacefully despite the country’s long history of racial violence and a brutal police force.

    On his release from captivity in 1990, Mandela’s African National Congress continued its historic commitment to an armed struggle against apartheid.

  53. Ametia says:

    So fitting that the film “The Long Road to Freedom” is showing in South Africa right now.

  54. I’m in tears…

  55. rikyrah says:

    Thank you, Madiba.

    For showing the way

    • Ametia says:

      Rikyrah, your post is a MAGNIFICENT tribute to Mr. Mandela. Thank you!

      Thank you, Madiba, for showing us the road is long to freedom, in fact it is never ending. But we only need rest a while and take in the beautiful moments, before we continue on.

      May your journey continue with the love and grace in which you left this earthly plane.

      May God bless your family.

    • Yahtc says:

      Thank you very much for your beautiful tribute to Nelson Mandala, rikyrah!

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