He is the first black president of South Africa who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule.
Here I am sharing glimpses of hi famous speech ” I am prepared to die” ( In 1962, he was arrested by South African security police for his opposition to the white government and its apartheid (“separateness”) policies of racial, political, and economic discrimination against the nonwhite majority. In 1964, the government brought further charges including sabotage, high treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government. This is Mandela’s statement from the dock at the opening of his defense in the 1964 trial.)
- 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 laborers, labor 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.
- 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 laborers.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Nelson Mandela – April 20, 1964
His best quotes:::
1) “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
2) “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
3) “If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.”
4) “I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”
5) “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
6) “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”
7) “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”
8) “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
9) “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
10) “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
11) “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
12) “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
13) “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
14) “I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
15) “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
The world mourn your departure.. RIP Nelson Mandela 5/12/2013