Nelson Mandela died

Four hours ago President Zuma of South Africa announced the death of Nelson Mandela at age 95.  All men are mortal, but I always hoped Mandela would be the one exception.

Yes, he plotted terrorism, but the regime was unjust, and he more than paid his dues, spending 27 years in prison—many of them breaking rocks in the sun—and in the end renounced terrorism.  He negotiated the end of apartheid and urged forgiveness of and reconciliation with his oppressors, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and then the presidency of South Africa.  His character and political astuteness may well have staved off a horrible civil war in his country.

We all knew he would go soon, but we already have too few heroes among us, and now there’s one fewer.

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)

72 Comments

  1. Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    May he rest in peace. Thank-you Mandela for all you have done to make this a better world.

  2. gbjames
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    One of the greatest among us.

  3. gravityfly
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    A remarkable man.

    Nice eulogy, Jerry.

  4. Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

  5. Dawn Oz
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    He was a wonderful secular saint, who also founded the world elders association.

    http://theelders.org/

  6. Marta
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    He was a giant. An immeasurable loss.

  7. Surangika Senanayake
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    A true world leader has left this world. It is a loss, not only for South Africa but for the whole world.

  8. BilBy
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh no. I was lucky enough to briefly ‘meet’ him once – he turned to the crowd of people who were watching him leave a museum in Pretoria and he just gave a huge grin and said “hello my children of Africa!” before getting in the car

  9. AKS
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Madiba. A Great man.
    I met him in 1996, right after the first nonracial local elections. People stood in long long lines to vote for unopposed ANC candidates. The thrill of my life. South African produced both Mandela and Gandhi, two men who were more than equal to the depravities of racism.

  10. Dermot C
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    A very brave and resilient man, and incidentally with one of the worst senses of rhythm (for an ex-boxer) that I have ever seen – see his hopeless attempts to drum up support for the SA rugby World Cup.

    The question of his early support for terrorism is true and conveniently overlooked. When, if ever, is it right to support terrorism? In the SA of the 1950s was that the only choice left to the left in the most economically developed country in Africa? With a large working class, with a white intelligentsia split on racial lines, generally Afrikaans reactionary, and Anglo-descendants liberal.

    When is terrorism the only morally and practically viable option? Was von Stauffenberg wrong or right? Was Mandela wrong in the 1950s and right in the 1990s? Or vice versa? Or neither?

    My ideas: he had a huge potential range of support in the late 50s, early 60s and he blew it; terrorism doesn’t work in as advanced a society as SA was then.

    Slaínte.

    • Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Terrorism isn’t a good choice, true. But to my pea brain, ‘advanced society’ and apartheid simply don’t add up.

      • Dermot C
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        True enough, badly expressed re: ‘advanced society’. I mean economically advanced, as SA was then; it had all the hallmarks of class differentials of the so-called first world even in the late 1950s.

        Viz: the creation of a proletariat: a middle class unsure of itself in relation to its approbation by, and support for, the state: an ideological and political dichotomy in that middle class – Anglo vs. Afrikaans, as I indicated before.

        The superstructure above all that was the racist ideology: was that really enough to merit the practise of late 1950s terrorism? Because the state was so strong that that was the only method which would work?

        Well, no. Not even in the 1950s. And the proof is that it did not take, contrary to anyone’s previous expectations, a distressingly violent revolution to overturn Apartheid. Internal mass organisation and external boycotts did eventually work. De Klerk went to the negotiating table, not because of internal terrorism, but because of those 2 reasons.

        It had nothing to do with individual terrorism, for which Mandela originally stood. And let’s be honest about it: he was wrong.

        Cheers.

        • Johnman
          Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          NO to the above! Apartheid was an ideology which was unsustainable and doomed to die. In future history books the SA era between 1948 and 1993 would be a footnote only: “In 1948 a nationalist white government tried to impose a policy of separate development. This did not work and was followed by the first democratic goverment under the ANC in 1993″.
          I am a white South African proud of my country, even with its (real and perceived) current problems. Thanks Madiba!

        • Dominic
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink

          I don’t know enough about South African history to know what the ANC’s terror campaign involved, but I suspect they did not do things like attack infreastructure, the sort of thing that could really bring a country to its knees.

          • Dominic
            Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink

            Beg pardon – ‘infrastructure’.

          • jeremyp
            Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:56 am | Permalink

            Infrastructure is exactly what they did go for. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umkhonto_we_Sizwe#Military_campaign

            They were’t targeting people, which is a mitigation I guess. In any case, as JAC says, Mandela served his time, perhaps more than served his time. His contribution since leaving prison has been of the highest order. Compare South Africa to Zimbabwe.

            • Gordon
              Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

              No, they left targetting people to the Apartheid goverment. 76 killed by the police in Sharpville in 1960 and 170 in Soweto in 1976 for example. It was after Sharpville that the ANC was banned and went underground. How unreasonable of them, maybe the should have started a petition or something.

        • Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          SA’s economic advancement was largely partly on the backs of oppressed black South Africans, who did not earn a fair wage nor given a fair piece of the pie.

          Once you have a morally corrupt government practicing a slow-burning form of pogrom (death by a thousand cuts over decades) and the basest oppression of fellow human beings, all bets are understandably off when the common people take to streets in overt acts of civil disobedience. If there were instances where the line was crossed, whence does the trail of blame *originate*?

          We first need to put ourselves in the shoes of the oppressed and ask what would WE do?

    • Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      True, but in partial defence of this, he initially endorsed an entirely non-violent response to Apartheid. When this failed (the Apartheid regime were far more brutal than Gandhi’s British were), he then advocated a campaign of sabotage, where infrastructure tied to the Apartheid regime would be destroyed, but without civilian casualties.

      • Dominic
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:42 am | Permalink

        I should have read this before my comment above! Doh!

      • Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        …and that is called Resistance.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

      I am not sure ‘terrorism’ is a good word for what Mandela engaged in. I may be wrong but as far as I know he did not attack any targets involving potential injury to or death of human beings. I believe that he was involved in sabotage of some telecommunications equipment. This is in a wholly different category to anything perpetrated by the IRA, PLO, Al Quaeda etc. He was also fighting an extremely unjust regime that had shot dead peaceful demonstrators at Sharpeville.

      • Dominic
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:41 am | Permalink

        Oh – if that is the case then I was wrong above. Interesting…

      • Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:20 am | Permalink

        Agreed. I wonder what people would advocate doing in Mandela’s shoes? It’s important to understand that non-violent responses only work against some types of opponent (a point Pinker makes in Better Angels). Indeed, Nelson Mandela and the ANC had already tried this route for roughly 20 years.

        In South Africa, non-violent protests were routinely met with massacre and murder by the Apartheid government. No big “world police” force, like the USA or the UN, was promising to do anything to help. (Indeed, the USA and Britain have the rather disreputable distinction of tacitly supporting the Apartheid government until exceptionally late in the game, seeing them as a regional bulwark against communism and a useful trading partner.)

        It is important to remember that one of the many problems with terrorism is that it usually seeks to achieve by violence what CAN be achieved non-violently (e.g. by voting). I’m not sure that this option was viable in the 1960s in South Africa though. So, in this particular instance, to decide to eventually target infrastructure (while consciously avoiding civilian casualties) is, to me, quite distinct from what the word “terrorist” usually signifies.

        That’s my two cents, anyway…

    • Dominic
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      Terrorist/freedom fighter – these are labels that depend on which side of the argument you are. However these people do not usually want to overthrow a state, just get a share of the decision making.

      • Dermot C
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the argument is between violence and non-violence, but between individual (so-called terrorist) violence and mass-organised violence, especially in the perspectives which the SA masses faced in the early 1960s. Even the ur-pacifist Gandhi was perfectly willing to turn a blind eye to the inter-communal violence that he knew his policies would lead to; and, to do violence to the metaphor, to give a nod and a wink to those who were on his side.

        Having set up a mass politico/trades union organisation like the ANC, the leaders then bypassed the organisation after the Sharpeville massacre and veered way off their original course in advocating unaccountable, desperate individual acts of terrorism (which is a morally neutral term – too many academics have earned BBC kudos from their alleged disinterested expertise in the field [Prof. Paul Wilkinson of St. Andrew’s University, and quite probably an MI6 operative, judging by his regular contributions to Radio 4, was an example]): instead why didn’t the ANC inspire the well-organised mass trades union and underground political organisation in a general strike which would rapidly have taken on a political nature in posing the question: who rules? In the early 1960s.

        How much misery could have been avoided? How many lives could have been saved? Even the SA comrades I knew in the 1980s had great respect for Mandela – everyone does – but they disagreed with him about this. They comprehended perfectly the turn towards individual terrorism – as an understandable reaction to the horrors of naked Apartheid – but, natheless, they thought it couldn’t work. And I agreed.

        Slaínte.

    • exsumper
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Is it terrorism to fight for the right to be treated as a human being?

      What about all those ghastly terrorists who fought the Nazis during the Warsaw uprising?

      • Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        …or those many brave “terrorists” who fought in the French Resistance.

      • Dermot C
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        In answer to your questions, exsumper, one, no. Two, you would not characterise as terrorists the participants in the Warsaw Uprising, because as far as they were able they were an organised group using terroristic methods, all mass organisations having been obliterated by the Nazis.

        I think you needed to read my later post before implying that I was on the side of Apartheid. The point was that a further degree of violence was inevitable in post-Sharpeville SA. And the ANC, although illegalised, had not been completely wiped out. As opposed to an externally-organised mass general strike in early 1960 which would also probably have led to blood on the streets but quite possibly Mandela in power by late 1960, individual acts of sporadic terroristic violence were never going to work in that situation; it’s not a complicated idea.

        Slaínte.

  11. marcusa1971
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    A great loss indeed. Ironically, Mandela was someone who actually deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. Unlike say, Yasser Arafat, Mother Theresa and Henry Kissinger.

    • Sean
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      +1

  12. Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s really hurtful that this last great honest man is gone. At less he left us a good way we all can chose to follow..

  13. David Duncan
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The thing I admired most about Nelson Mandela was his ability to forgive the injustices done to him.

  14. markus koebler
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    A man who had the courage to change his point of view. I take my hat off.

  15. still learning
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    His love, courage, and wisdom will be a beacon of hope for the ages.

  16. Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    We owe this inspirational giant of a man an immeasurable debt of gratitude.

  17. Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Mandela has died, and that made him one of the lucky ones — for truly, he did spring from bed and eagerly discovered the world and rejoiced in being a part of it.

    May we all spend the bounty of our luck as well as he did.

    b&

  18. sekhwela tlaishego
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    rest in peace the peace creator in our country,you left us with wisdom.your speech will always be remembered**

  19. Sean
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I grew up in R.S.A. in the 80’s & 90’s and I am heart broken by his death.

    What a great man!

    I carry with me a guilt knowing that the fantastic, publicly funded schools and university I attended were built on the back of the unprivileged. It’s a horrible feeling. I even feel guilty , about feeling guilt, because it is nothing compared to the suffering of non-whites.

    Watching CNN I see much criticism against the “Afrikaaners” and I can tell you that growing up in a predominantly English suburb of Cape Town, the English whites were every bit a racist. They did not put up much resistance to the Nat’s!

    I just wish the everyone would stop comparing Madiba to Gandhi. Gandhi was so deep into his own Woo, he would have set India back into the dark ages if he could. Madiba got his pacifism King and built an extremely secular government, that is not perfect but far superior to many.

    • gravityfly
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      “Gandhi was so deep into his own Woo, he would have set India back into the dark ages if he could.”

      Ain’t that the truth!

  20. Diane G.
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    As Dawkins said when Sagan died–one of the voices we can least afford to lose.

  21. Johnman
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the eulogy Jerry. Our country (and the world)lost its greatest son. I was priviledged to meet him years ago at a school we built for handicapped kids in Umtata. Truly a real statesman and worthy Peace Price winner – without him our country could easily have been another Syria or Afghanistan

  22. bonetired
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  23. Jeffrey
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Sean, you say.”…the English whites were every bit a racist…”
    I would dispute that. I lived amongst Afrikaners in Johannesburg, and Anglo South Africans in Cape Town, throughout the 1970′ and 1980’s, and believe me the Afrikaners were a lot more racist than the Anglos, and could be very vicious. If you didn’t live as an Anglo amongst Afrikaners I don’t think you are qualified to make a comparison. Just in Cape Town it was the Afrikaner government who destroyed and moved the shacks of the blacks and shifted them off to the Eastern Cape, and many, many Anglos were against that. Most Anglos just didn’t believe that blacks were less than whites. Some were, no doubt, but not many were in support of the armed struggle as they could see only a negatice outcome for all concerned. On his release Mandela also saw the folly of armed struggle for the future of South Africa.

    • Johnman
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      Jeffrey, being a white Afrikaans South African who grew up in SA among white and black people; Afrikaners and English, I appreciate your views. It is however not possible or fair to lump all members of a group together and call them racist and vicious. In my view it is mostly individuals or small groups of like-minded individuals who can be stereotyped – within bigger cultural groupings you will always find both the good and the bad. As for the removal of black people from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape – that’s not true. Black people were forcefully removed from newly proclaimed “white” areas in Cape Town to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha – about 20km east of Cape Town. Not to the Eastern Cape (about 900km away!).

      • Sean
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Yeah I apologize. I should have written: ‘…most English speaking whites…’

        And I am an Anglo who grew up in Afrikaans neighborhood in Johannesburg, English suburb of Cape Town and attended Stellenbosch University. (I was fluent enough in Afrikaans to even write some of my exams in Afrikaans, finding it easier as my notes and lectures had been in Afrikaans) Cape Town actually has more Afrikaans speaking people than English.

        So I was deeply entrenched in the Afrikaans culture although I grew up in an English speaking home.

        On a totally separate note: only after I graduated from Stellenbosch did I realize how intensely racist that university was. All of the architects of apartheid (Exept Pik Botha) were alumni or held chairs and there were faculty building’s named after Verwoed, Vorster and I think Strijdom. (They have since changed the names, but the Sport Science building is still named after DF Malan! )

        If I had known better, I would have gone to UCT or Wits.

    • Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      You are perfectly right. When I was living in Cambridge, England, in the late sixties, I knew a large bunch of young Anglo South Africans who had in effect fled South Africa because they were threatened with imprisonment for their Anti-Apartheid activism. One of my son’s Godfathers (yes, I had him baptized, but that was the extent of my involving him with any church or religion) was one of these young Anglo South Africans Anti-Apartheid activists in exile whose parents had a large farm on which they grew fruit of several kinds.

    • exsumper
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      They’re not any less bigoted now. I’ve worked In the Middle East. You should see how uk nationals and companies collude In the appalling treatment of migrant workers from Asia.

  24. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    :-(

    I saw him from some distance once, visiting Sweden. The man had presence.

  25. Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    A great tribute. A sad loss.

    A bright light has sadly faded from the world.

  26. Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I am impressed with the intelligence shown on this site when discussing Mandela and his ‘terrorism-lite’. He was said to have been part of a bombing plot.

    As I have said in an earlier post, I met Mandela, in the chandeliered palace of Prague when waiting to talk with the newly elected President of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel. Mandela seemed a little shy and nervous concerning the meeting. When gently questioned about his view of the future of S.A. he replied with generalities and expressions of hope. I know that ‘leadership’ and ‘diplomacy’ are often very different things, and few people are gifted with both.
    I remarked that an economist is like a tick-bird on the back of a rhinoceros, always taking the credit when the rhinoceros (the economy) moves in the right direction. He laughed gently, but I think that he did not fully comprehend my warning.

  27. Jeffrey
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Faie enough Johnman. I know what I said was a generalisation, but I never witnessed the same sort of visciousness from Anglos as I saw from the Afrikaners in the old Transvaal. I was friends with some very fine Afrikaans people, and still am. Some were moved from Cape Town back to the Eastern Cape. However, even when they were moved to Khayalitsha they often had their shacks destroyed around them in the Cape winter.

  28. John Harshman
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    By random association, thinking about Mandela makes me wonder what would have happened in Russia had Sakharov lived just a few more years.

    • Sean
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Can I ask a stupid question? What does “the powerful influence of mission Christianity that may have left the most indelible mark” imply?

      I also don’t like the last paragraph that seems to imply he is a puppet of the whites.Many Whites left the shrinking army and formed private ‘security’ companies. I don’t think you can read more into it than that.

      But I do agree 100% that ‘trickle down’ from the ‘Black Diamonds’ has definitely not worked at all. (And I am an economist so I have a vague idea…)

      • godsbelow
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        I read the reference to Christianity as a reference to the policy of forgiveness that culminated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

        Pilger isn’t the first to suggest that the “New South Africa’s” policy of forgiveness rather than retributive justice is Christian: JM Coetzee has commented to the same effect, and his “Disgrace” has been interpreted as a critique of the concept that a country can be built on a religious idea – one not widely held, not really – instead of on retributive justice which would have seen the perpetrators of Apartheid punished and their victims empowered.

        • gbjames
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          The idea that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was some sort of religious program is typical of religious apologist thinking. Forgiveness is no more a religious concept than retribution. Both are generically human in origin and both are found sprinkled around in “holy” books. Believers just pick and choose a bit here and a bit there when seeking to take credit for facts of history.

          • Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            In a sense it partly if not largely was. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and deeply involved in it, drawing much on his Christian values.

            Desmond Tutu – Truth and Reconciliation

            • gbjames
              Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

              Archbishop Tutu, as it happens, is also human and fully capable of accessing common human attributes, like forgiveness and an interest in truth.

              It is as if I claimed that being white and male was the source of music appreciation only to have you (quite reasonably) object that all humans share the ability to appreciate music. My pointing to some old white guy in Milwaukee listening to a Verdi opera wouldn’t invalidate your objection.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

                Damn, that’s good, gb!

              • Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

                Are you saying, then, that Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s deep involvement was totally unrelated to and divorced from his belief system? If so, do you have any evidence for that?

              • gbjames
                Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

                No, I’m saying that Tutu’s involvement is does not support the idea that truth and reconciliation are religious ideas.

                Many people were involved in building post-apartheid South Africa. Some were religious. Some were not.

                My objection is to the constant tendency to attribute common HUMAN tendencies to do good to religion. It is wrong, to say nothing of offensive to all non-believers.

              • Posted December 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

                I was in no way implying that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was based on a “do good religion”, I merely pointed out that, in view of Bishop Desmond Tutu’s deep involvement and participation as much in the crafting of it as in the running of it, there may have been a small part of his Christian values involved in it, is all.

              • Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

                I thought you might find this pdf document interesting:

                http://www.ashgate.com/pdf/SamplePages/Religion_and_Conflict_Resolution_Intro.pdf

              • gbjames
                Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

                I think first it might be informative to consider the role of religion in creating apartheid in the first place.

              • Sean
                Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

                Regarding Tutu:

                I really doubt he is more than a deist.

                I remember on numerous occasions being totally stunned by statements that Tutu made:

                *calling for a secular government / constitution to be written
                *often giving long speeches and only mentioning god in a way that a deist would.
                *Points out that bible is not literal (very often for a bishop!!)

                My favorite: “The God I worship is not the would encourage us to pierce the veil of of the mysteries of creation and is not threatened by science…”

                and

                “God would prefer we were skeptics / atheists rather than believers cowered into belief”

                For apologists that claim religion helped end apartheid should then acknowledge the disgusting role that it played in the formation and support of apartheid.

                Yes I believe Tut’s religion is misguided, but he in no way espouses typical religious christian values.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

                Along the same lines, Sean, I was similarly impressed with Tutu’s elegy to Mandela in the Washington Post. In the very second paragraph he says of Mandela,

                “He perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper.”

                Sounds entirely humanistic to me. It’s a two-page article and only at the very end does he mention God, and then only in a pro forma way, it seems to me.

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/nelson-mandela-a-colossus-of-unimpeachable-moral-character/2013/12/06/0a2cd28a-5ec9-11e3-be07-006c776266ed_story.html

  29. koseighty
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    From a piece at Time.com:

    I once asked him about his mortality while we were out walking one morning in the Transkei, the remote area of South Africa where he was born. He looked around at the green and tranquil landscape and said something about how he would be joining his “ancestors.” “Men come and men go,” he later said. “I have come and I will go when my time comes.” And he seemed satisfied by that. I never once heard him mention God or heaven or any kind of afterlife. Nelson Mandela believed in justice in this lifetime.

    http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-1918-2013-remembering-an-icon-of-freedom/

  30. Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I often used to visit South Africa when I worked for intel- this being before a full a commercial boycott was imposed. Each visit there made me more depressed, just seeing the oppressive injustice, the bitterness and the building hatred. I thought to myself that when the storm breaks there would be the greatest bloodbath conceivable taking place. One man changed that – Mandela. I never believed that one individual could make such a positive difference in human history – but Mandela was very far indeed from an ordinary man.

  31. Sean
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Some posts here are about Tutu. I thought I would share this:

    http://www.iol.co.za/pretoria-news/opinion/anc-s-treatment-of-tutu-a-shame-1.1623703#.UrCuMvRDvW0


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29,449 other followers

%d bloggers like this: