Login Register

Tributes pour in for Nelson Mandela, the father of freedom

By WMNAGreenwood  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela dies aged 95

Nelson Mandela dies aged 95

Comments (29)

Millions of people around the world are mourning the death of former South African leader Nelson Mandela, who last night died at the age of 95.

In a televised address, the country's president, Jacob Zuma said: “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”

David Cameron led tributes to South Africa’s first black president, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.

The flag at No 10 will be flown at half-mast in honour of the former leader, who was a “hero of our time”, the Prime Minister said.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.”

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls wrote: “Seeing Nelson Mandela walking free is one of the great moments of my life – proving leadership and hope can triumph. Thank-you. RIP”

Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd, the former Commons speaker, fondly recalled the memories about a visit President Mandela made in 1996.

She said: “I welcomed many leaders to Westminster when I was Speaker but he was by far the most remarkable.

“His speech to the joint Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 1996 was a masterpiece of reconciliation after the bitter years of apartheid. He represented ‘an outstanding victory of the human spirit over evil’, I told him.

“He wrote to me afterwards of his delight at the pomp and ceremony of the occasion and its ‘majesty and dignity’.

“He was especially touched by the Queen’s graciousness towards him and the warmth of the British people.

“He was kind enough to add ‘It is friends like yourself who have contributed to making our country the democratic rainbow nation we are today’.

“His modesty during that visit was extraordinary and people loved him all the more because of it. One anecdote illustrates his foresight. On his arrival at the entrance to the Commons, I cautioned him about the treacherous steps in Westminster Hall and said we would take them at his pace.

“’Don’t worry’, he replied. ‘I came to look at them at six o’clock this morning’. With that, the trumpets sounded, he took my hand and we entered together without mishap. He had foreseen the difficulty and worked out the solution hours before.

“He was still looking forward when we last met in South Africa when I went there as Chancellor of the Open University. he said that when he finally entered the pearly gates he would join the local branch of the African National Congress.”

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Mr Mandela’s death as “a great light extinguished’’.

“The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe,” Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach said Mr Mandela changed life in South Africa, and humanity.

“As we mark his passing, we give thanks for the gift of Nelson Mandela. We ask that his spirit continues to inspire, guide and enlighten us as we strive to bring freedom and dignity to the family of man, our brothers and sisters, across the world,” he said.

“I offer my deepest sympathies, on behalf of the Irish Government and people, to his family, to his friends and supporters, and to the Government and the people of South Africa.”

Former prime minister Tony Blair said the political leader was a “great man’’ who had made racism “not just immoral but stupid’’.

“He was a unique political figure at a unique moment in history,” he said.

“Through his leadership, he guided the world into a new era of politics in which black and white, developing and developed, north and south, despite all the huge differences in wealth and opportunity, stood for the first time together on equal terms.

“Through his dignity, grace and the quality of his forgiveness, he made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid; something not only to be disagreed with, but to be despised. In its place he put the inalienable right of all humankind to be free and to be equal.

“I worked with him closely, and remember well his visits to Downing Street. He was a wonderful man to be around, with a sharp wit, extraordinary political savvy and a lovely way of charming everyone in a building.

“He would delight in making sure that the person on the door or serving the tea would feel at home with him and be greeted by him with the same kindness and respect he would show a leader. So the warmth of his personality was equal to the magnitude of his contribution to the world.

“He was a great man, a great leader and the world’s most powerful symbol of reconciliation, hope and progress.”

Cameron: Light has gone out in the world

David Cameron led tributes to South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.

The flag at No 10 will be flown at half-mast in honour of the former leader, who was a “hero of our time”, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said: “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero.

“Across the country he loved they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace.

“Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life. My heart goes out to his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.”

MPs will be given the opportunity to pay tributes to Mr Mandela in the House of Commons on Monday, he added.

Former prime minister Tony Blair said the political leader was a “great man” who had made racism “not just immoral but stupid”.

“He was a unique political figure at a unique moment in history,” he said.

“Through his leadership, he guided the world into a new era of politics in which black and white, developing and developed, north and south, despite all the huge differences in wealth and opportunity, stood for the first time together on equal terms.

“Through his dignity, grace and the quality of his forgiveness, he made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid; something not only to be disagreed with, but to be despised. In its place he put the inalienable right of all humankind to be free and to be equal.

“I worked with him closely, and remember well his visits to Downing Street. He was a wonderful man to be around, with a sharp wit, extraordinary political savvy and a lovely way of charming everyone in a building.

“He would delight in making sure that the person on the door or serving the tea would feel at home with him and be greeted by him with the same kindness and respect he would show a leader. So the warmth of his personality was equal to the magnitude of his contribution to the world.

“He was a great man, a great leader and the world’s most powerful symbol of reconciliation, hope and progress.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband called his work to unite South Africa in the face of personal hardship and oppression “extraordinary”.

He said: “The world has lost the inspirational figure of our age. Nelson Mandela taught people across the globe the true meaning of courage, strength, hope and reconciliation.

“From campaigner to prisoner to president to global hero, Nelson Mandela will always be remembered for his dignity, integrity and his values of equality and justice.

“He was an activist who became president and a president who always remained an activist. Right to the end of his life he reminded the richest nations of the world of their responsibilities to the poorest.

“Above all, he showed us the power of people, in the cause of justice, to overcome the mightiest obstacles. He moved the world and the world will miss him deeply.

“During the struggle against apartheid, the Labour Party was proud to stand with the people of South Africa in solidarity. Today we stand with the people of South Africa in mourning.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague also paid tribute to Mr Mandela, saying: “It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Nelson Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time. His life story is a compelling and inspiringly profound political journey.

“An international icon and inspiration to millions, his appeal transcended race, religion and class. He was at once a leader of immense character and strength, and a man closely attuned to the needs of his people.

“Nelson Mandela once wrote, ‘I don’t think there is much history can say about me.’ Yet he will be remembered forever for his lifelong fight against racial oppression, not least during his 27 years of incarceration, and as the first freely elected leader of a multi-racial South Africa.

“His name will echo down the ages for his immense contribution to his country, to Africa, and to the world, and his tireless work for peace and reconciliation. He set a powerful example to us all of sacrifice and enormous fortitude. His courage, humility and sense of forgiveness have secured his place in history.

“He will be greatly missed across the world.”

American civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson said Mr Mandela’s “imprint” would be “everlasting”.

“My heart weighs heavy,” said Mr Jackson, who has been in the UK this week and spoke to students in Cambridge on Monday. “The imprint he left on our world is everlasting.”

He added: “Nelson Mandela was a transformational figure; to say he was a ’historical figure’ would not give him his full due.

“My heart burst with excitement on that day of Mandela’s release from Victor Verster Prison, 11 February 1990. When word got out about his impending release, maids started doing the toya toya in the hallways, beating pots and pans, weeping and demonstrating.”

Mr Jackson said he had been at Mr Mandela’s presidential inauguration. “We forged an everlasting relationship,” he said. “We’ve met numerous times in South Africa – the last time in 2010 where we spoke about boxing, sports, politics, and traded baseball caps.

“Nelson Mandela was a giant of immense and unwavering intellect courage and moral authority. He chose reconciliation over retaliation. He changed the course of history.

“Now, both South Africa and the US, have unfinished business to complete. Mandela is not gone, he remains with us always. He’ll always be a chin bar to pull up on. Mandela has indeed forged South Africa as a new ‘beauty from ashes’.

“He has left this earth, but he soars high among the heavens, and his eloquent call for freedom and equality is still heard amongst the winds and the rains, and in the hearts of the people the world over.”

Former US president Bill Clinton said last night: “Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings. And Hillary, Chelsea and I have lost a true friend.

“History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.

“We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Graca and his family and to the people of South Africa. All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived.

“He proved that there is freedom in forgiving, that a big heart is better than a closed mind, and that life’s real victories must be shared.”

In a statement released through NBC News, former US president George Bush said: “President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example.

“This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathy to President Mandela’s family and to the citizens of the nation he loved.”

Microsoft tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates said he was honoured to meet Mr Mandela a number of times.

“We left each visit inspired and more optimistic about the opportunity to improve the lives of the poor throughout the world,” he said. “From prisoner to president, Nelson Mandela was tireless in his pursuit of equality and justice for all people.

“President Mandela was a remarkable example to us, to our foundation, and to the whole world thanks to a life imbued with courage, dedication and compassion.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Graca Machel and President Mandela’s family. We join with the people of South Africa in grieving the loss of this extraordinary and inspirational leader.”

Former prime minister Gordon Brown called Mr Mandela “the greatest leader of our generation”, saying he was “a leader of magnanimity, fortitude, unshakeable optimism and most of all, the most courageous man I ever met”.

Mr Brown added: “True courage requires not only strength of will but strength of belief. What motivated Nelson Mandela and drove him to risk his life for freedom was a burning passion that irrespective of colour, race and background, all people are created equal – and his list of historic achievements starts with a multiracial South Africa.

“Every accolade in the world was awarded to him but the one he prized most was Children’s Champion. As he said in his book, he had climbed one mountain, but there is another still to climb – dignity for every child. He was the greatest of Africans.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said: “South Africa has lost its greatest citizen and its father. Nelson Mandela, fighting to the end, is freed to be with his God in joy and reward for his great service and sacrifice...

“We are challenged to show the same degree of humanity, of courage and of generosity.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Our thoughts go out to the people of South Africa who will be left heartbroken by this sad news.

“Every so often history produces an individual whose message is universal, and Nelson Mandela will be mourned and missed on every continent around the globe. The hope he offered was enough to unite races. It bridged cultures and transcended generations and it could heal the deepest divides.

“That hope must now live on. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will continue to burn brightly, there is little doubt about that. But our greatest tribute to him will be our commitment to equality, humanity and peace – the values for which he very literally put his life on the line.”

The United Nations Security Council interrupted a meeting on the tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda last night and stood for a minute in silent tribute to Mr Mandela.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said he was “a giant for justice” whose “selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom” inspired many people around the world.

“No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations,” he said.

“Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world, and within each one of us, if we believe a dream and work together for justice and humanity. Let us continue each day to be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s lifelong example to keep working for a better and more just world.”

Baroness (Betty) Boothroyd, the former Commons speaker, fondly recalled the memories about a visit President Mandela made in 1996.

She said: “I welcomed many leaders to Westminster when I was Speaker but he was by far the most remarkable.

“His speech to the joint Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 1996 was a masterpiece of reconciliation after the bitter years of apartheid. He represented ‘an outstanding victory of the human spirit over evil’, I told him.

“He wrote to me afterwards of his delight at the pomp and ceremony of the occasion and its ‘majesty and dignity’. He was especially touched by the Queen’s graciousness towards him and the warmth of the British people.

“He was kind enough to add ‘It is friends like yourself who have contributed to making our country the democratic rainbow nation we are today’.”

London mayor Boris Johnson said: “When the definitive history of our time is written, the name Mandela will stand taller than most – perhaps tallest of them all.

“Nelson Mandela understood the most powerful tool at his disposal was the power of forgiveness. He faced down the tyranny and oppression of apartheid by embracing unity, by rejecting division, by proving without rancour or recrimination that his way was the right way, the best way, and the only way to bring about change.

“Londoners, brought up in a city where the values of diversity and equality were celebrated not suppressed, forged a unique bond with Mandela and the struggle he embodied.”

Irish president Michael D Higgins described Mr Mandela as an “immense moral force”, saying: “Nelson Mandela is one of history’s greatest leaders; a man whose unprecedented courage and dedication broke down the cruel barriers of apartheid in South Africa and led the nation into a new and democratic age.”

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Mr Mandela changed life in South Africa, and humanity.

“As we mark his passing, we give thanks for the gift of Nelson Mandela. We ask that his spirit continues to inspire, guide and enlighten us as we strive to bring freedom and dignity to the family of man, our brothers and sisters, across the world,” he said.

“I offer my deepest sympathies, on behalf of the Irish Government and people, to his family, to his friends and supporters, and to the Government and the people of South Africa.”

Christian Aid chief executive Loretta Minghella described Mandela as a “man whose strength of vision founded a nation”.

“The sufferings and injustices inflicted by apartheid could so easily have led to a reckoning in blood when majority rule was introduced,” said Ms Minghella.

“The fact that South Africa’s transition from pariah state to independent nation took place in relative peace was largely down to the magnanimity and moral courage of Mr Mandela.”

Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty added that his courage “helped change our entire world”, and praised his “unswerving resolve” to stamp out racial inequality.

He said: “The death of Nelson Mandela is not just a loss for South Africa. It is a loss for people all over the world who are fighting for freedom, for justice and for an end to discrimination...

“His legacy across Africa, and the world, will stand for generations.”

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, added: “Whether it was the illegal war in Iraq, the struggle against apartheid or the occupation of Palestine Nelson Mandela never stopped speaking up and for that the world will forever be grateful.

“His legacy will live for generations to come and we give thanks for his life and service. Tonight out hearts are with his family and friends.”

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. On behalf of the World Bank Group staff, I convey my deepest sympathies to Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s family, and the South African people.

“The world has lost a man who brought a rainbow of possibilities to a country that was segregated into black and white.”

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said: “Mandela changed course of history for his people, country, continent & the world. My thoughts are with his family and people of South Africa.”

Nation mourns its 'father' Mandela

South Africans have gathered to mourn the death of Nelson Mandela – and celebrate his colossal life.

As the news of his death at 95 spread across the world, people in the black township of Soweto took to the streets near the house where theor first black president once lived, singing and dancing.

Amid the deep sadness at the loss of a man considered by many to be the father of the nation, mourners said it was also a time to celebrate the achievements of the anti-apartheid leader who emerged from prison to lead South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma, dressed in black, announced the news of Mr Mandela’s death on television, saying the man known affectionately by his clan name Madiba had died “peacefully” at around 8.50pm surrounded by his family.

“He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Mr Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

The president said all national flags would be at half-mast until after a state funeral. Many South Africans, having missed the news after going to bed, would awaken to a country without its spiritual and moral leader.

Several hundred people milled around outside Mr Mandela’s home in the leafy Houghton neighbourhood of Johannesburg, with the mood lively rather than sombre. Some sang and swayed, a man blew on a vuvuzela horn widely used at World Cup games in South Africa in 2010, and another marched towards the house and shouted “Nelson!”.

People photographed a makeshift shrine of candles, a national flag and bouquets of flowers. A framed portrait of a smiling Mr Mandela was propped against a tree with the caption: “Rest in peace, Madiba”.

Some Soweto residents gathered in front of Mr Mandela’s old home in the early hours to mark his death. About 40 formed a circle in the middle of Vilakazi Street and sang songs from the anti-apartheid struggle. Some were draped in South African flags and the green, yellow and black colours of Mr Mandela’s party, the African National Congress.

“We are celebrating his life and all that he did for us,” said Terry Mokoena, 47. “I am happy that he is now at peace. He has done so much for us, it would be greedy for us to say that he should do more. Mandela united us – black, white, colored and Indian – he taught us togetherness.”

“He came here to Soweto as a lawyer and he led us. When he came out of jail in 1994, after 27 years, he did not come out a bitter man and encourage us to fight. No, he came out with a message of peace,” said Mbulelo Radebe, 37.

At Nelson Mandela Square in the wealthy Sandton neighbourhood of Johannesburg, six people stood at the foot of a bronze statue of Mr Mandela, paying homage to the leader. The six were two whites, two blacks and two of Indian descent, representing South Africa’s “rainbow nation” that Mr Mandela had fought and sacrificed for.

Big gatherings of mourners are expected in coming days as the country prepares a formal farewell for a man who helped guide the country from racial conflict to all-race elections in 1994.

“He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages,” said US president Barack Obama, who shares with Mr Mandela the distinction of being his nation’s first black president.

“He transcended race and class in his personal actions, through his warmth and through his willingness to listen and to empathize with others,” retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said.

“He taught us that to respect those with whom we are politically or socially or culturally at odds is not a sign of weakness, but a mark of self-respect.”

FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, said he and Mr Mandela first met in 1989 and concluded they could do business as the country embarked on its long-awaited transition to democratic rule.

“Although we were political opponents – and although our relationship was often stormy – we were always able to come together at critical moments to resolve the many crises that arose during the negotiation process,” Mr de Klerk said.

Human rights advocate George Bizos said Mr Mandela, a long-time friend, never wavered in his dedication to non-racial and democratic ideals. “He was larger than life. We will not find another like him,” he said.

Former US president Jimmy Carter said: “His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world’s leading democracies.”

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon said Nelson Mandela was “a giant for justice” who inspired people to fight for a better world. The UN Security Council interrupted a meeting on the tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda last night and stood for a minute in silent tribute to Mr Mandela.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan said the world had lost “a visionary leader, a courageous voice for justice and a clear moral compass” and President Xi Jinping of China praised Mr Mandela’s victory in the anti-apartheid struggle and his contribution to “the cause of human progress”.

“As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go,” said the US actor Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mr Mandela in the 2009 film Invictus.

France’s President Francois Hollande said: “Mandela’s message will not disappear. It will continue to inspire those fighting for freedom and to give confidence to people defending just causes and universal rights.”

Burma pro-democracy leader and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi described Mr Mandela as a “great human being who raised the standard of humanity” and India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh compared him to his country’s own icon for the struggle for freedom, independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and “a giant among men”.

Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott described him as one of the great figures of the 20th century who had healed a broken country and Mr Mandela was also mourned in Cuba, which considered him a hero for supporting it amid US and international criticism.

Queen leads tributes to Mandela

The Queen and the Prince of Wales are among those who have paid tribute to South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela who has died at the age of 95.

The world learnt of his death as royalty, celebrities and fans were watching the royal premiere of a film chronicling his incredible life.

In a twist of fate, it was during the screening in London’s Leicester Square that Mr Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela was informed her 95-year-old father had died peacefully at home.

The Queen said she is ‘’deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Mandela’s death, saying he ‘’worked tirelessly for the good of his country”.

The anti-apartheid icon, held in the highest esteem across the world for leading his nation’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s after 27 years in prison, had been receiving medical care for a lung infection at his home.

Mr Mandela spent his final months surrounded by family after being released from hospital following a three month stay and passed away peacefully, President Jacob Zuma announced in a televised address last night.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: ‘’The Queen was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today.

”Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time.”

Prince Charles said Mr Mandela was “the embodiment of courage and reconciliation”.

He added: “He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life.

”With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all South Africans and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom.

”The world has lost an inspired leader and a great man. My family and I are profoundly saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Screams rang out in the auditorium at the film premiere as the news was broken to Ms Mandela, although fellow audience members were not informed of the death until after the film.

Speaking before the screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, she said her father was doing well, when asked about his health.

She said: “My father is fine. He’s 95 years old and he is pretty frail. We are hoping to see more of him.”

The Duke of Cambridge, with Kate beside him, gave a sombre tribute after leaving the cinema.

“It was extremely sad and tragic news,” he said.

“We were just reminded of what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now.”

Damian McCarthy, 45, who was at the screening, said: “I’ve never felt an atmosphere like that. It was unbelievable. It went from being quite a high-spirited occasion to absolute silence – stunned silence.

“It’s one of those moments where people say, ‘Do you remember where you were?’ It’s definitely put a bit of a bizarre twist on the premiere.”

After the film, Idris Elba, who plays Mr Mandela, took to the stage with producer Harvey Weinstein to hold a moment’s silence to honour the great man.

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

29 comments

  • Doitdreckley  |  December 10 2013, 6:36PM

    For once I agree with you about Blair. The other hypocrite is Cameron who would pprobably have opposed sanctions and Mandela during his formative political years. The the Windsor wedding and baby coverage has been over the top and instead of the usual right wing bias the BBC has been biased to the left on this one. Biased in the right direction!

    Rate   2
    Report
  • Truro_England  |  December 10 2013, 4:37PM

    What a media show this morning, all the alter egos came out for free media attention and using Nelson's memorial service as a free world wide platform. It made me cringe when I saw Tony Blair turn up, taking time out from arranging deals for our MPs to invest with Military Equipment & Supplies and big oil companies. This man should be in a Dutch prison in Scheveningen (The Hague) this bloke has blood on his hands and I hope one day him and Bush, face the International Criminal Court.

    Rate   4
    Report
  • Doitdreckley  |  December 09 2013, 1:00PM

    Experience counts for more than cutting and pasting links but I will check them out to make sure they are not from some dubious right wing source. What I have posted about Mandela is perfectly correct. There was no bloodbath after the advent of democracy, there was reconciliation. Look at the white faces in South Africa mourning his death, even people like Pik Botha.

    Rate 0
    Report
  • DipStick  |  December 09 2013, 8:28AM

    @Doitdreckley: firstly, if you don't know how to "rate" comments then I'm not going to enlighten you .... As for making sense, did you not check out the links I'd posted? They give "facts" about Maggie and Mandela - NOT just my personal opinions. Sorry if you have problems with information that doesn't reinforce your own prejudices! DS

    Rate   -1
    Report
  • Doitdreckley  |  December 08 2013, 6:20PM

    Now you are making even less sense.

    Rate   -1
    Report
  • DipStick  |  December 08 2013, 4:01PM

    I see that if you don't agree with Mandela being a saint, even if you post facts to back up your opinion, then the 'cookie monsters' get busy! DS

    Rate   -3
    Report
  • Doitdreckley  |  December 08 2013, 10:48AM

    The enemies of apartheid in South Africa were willing to accept sanctions but as usual Thatcher thought she knew best. There has been some clever spin over the years to make it look as though she was on the side of history. Of course he was a "convicted terrorist". You or I would be the same if we stood up against an undemocratic regime in our country. No one who has ever walked this earth is a saint but he ensured a peaceful transition to democratic South Africa when vengeance could have easily been on the agenda. You cannot "solve" hundreds of years of problems in 20 but racial integration appears to be better because of Mandela than frankly the recent history of our country.

    Rate   3
    Report
  • DipStick  |  December 08 2013, 9:45AM

    @nickthompson & Doitdreckley: don't let the facts get in the way of you spouting bile at Maggie but she was in fact one of the, if not the, most persuasive voices in getting Mandela released. See this copy of a letter she sent to SA way back when .. point (iii) near the end: ... http://tinyurl.com/nnhjscq ... Also see this article ... http://tinyurl.com/pykvrwc ... Mandela said (of Thatcher) " ... She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for ... ". Mandela did do a lot for South Africa but, IMHO, wasn't the saint that the media are saying. Ss others have said, he was a convicted terrorist. As for his legacy, well SA TODAY has one of the highest murder rates and highest rates of rape anywhere in the world. But hey, now it has black majority rule all is sweetness and light and we can gloss over inconvenient facts such as those ..... DS

    Rate   -3
    Report
  • Doitdreckley  |  December 07 2013, 7:26PM

    Presumably "Truroengland" would have rolled over to have his tummy tickled had the NAZIs or Russians invaded. If your vote is denied because of your col our and your people are brutal used by a near fascist regime then you have no alternative but to pick up a gun. If you bothered to do some research you would discover that not only did Mandela renounce violence he brought unity to his nation and ensured reconciliation rather than retribution. If you would like some examples of dodgy regimes being supported by British Government's there is not only Thatchers appeasement of racist non democratic South Africa but also her support for the murderous Pinochet in Chile and her support for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Look at Cameron with China which tortures dissenters. That's the problem with the Right. Weak hypocrites.

    Rate 0
    Report
  • Truro_England  |  December 07 2013, 3:38PM

    Isn't Mandela I convicted terrorist? The ANC have killed many of innocent people over the years, they had links with Gaddafi and he gave them millions plus weapons.... The truth hurts all left wing wet blankets, just goggle ANC and Gaddafi.

    Rate   6
    Report

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES

       
       
       

      MOST POPULAR