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Saturday, December 7, 2013


Nelson Mandela
 Nelson Mandela thrilled audiences with his wit, then often bludgeoned them with his observations.  As we reflect on Nelson Mandela’s life, we should take the time to consider the great man’s words of wisdom. Here’s our list of the best Mandela quotes.
“No power on earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their freedom” -- June 1961.

“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 will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”- Defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964
“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people” -- release from prison in February 1990.

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.” -- inauguration as president in May 1994.
“The award was a tribute to all South Africans and especially to those who fought in the struggle; I would accept it on their behalf” -- on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1994.

“Late in life, I am blooming like a flower because of the love and support she has given me” -- marrying Graca Machel in July 1998 at the age of 80.
“I step down with a clear conscience, feeling that I have in a small way done my duty to my people and my country” -- retiring as president in May 1999.

“My bosses always say that I have had 27 years in prison to loaf. It is now time to do some catching up” -- on life in retirement in November 2000.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” - 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Johannesburg,18 May 2002

“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.” - Long Walk to Freedom

“You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with and a sense of humour and a complete relaxation, even when you’re discussing serious things, does help to mobilise friends around you. And I love that.” - From an interview with Tim Couzens, Verne Harris and Mac Maharaj for Mandela: The Authorised Portrait , 2006, 13 August 2005
“I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.” - Larry King Live, 16  May 2000

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Long Walk to Freedom.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - University of the Witwatersrand South Africa, 2003

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” Long Walk to Freedom
“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” -  From an interview for the documentary Mandela, 1994
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Long Walk to Freedom

“One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image I unwittingly projected to  outside world; of being regarded as a saint” -- he said in his latest book (2010) Conversations with Myself.
“The threat of death evoked no desire in me to play the role of martyr. I was ready to do so if I had to. But the anxiety to live always lingered” on the risk of execution in Conversations with Myself.

“Our demand is for a non-racial society ... We are fighting for a society where people will cease thinking in terms of colour ... It’s not a question of race; it’s a question of ideas.” -- passage from the book.
“What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” -- about then-US president George W Bush on the build-up to Iraq war in January 2003.

“We should take heart from our own experience and performance. In a cynical world we have become an inspiration to many.” -- last address to parliament in May 2004.
“I can confirm that we are ready, able, willing and capable as well as passionate about hosting the World Cup” -- during successful pitch for South Africa to host 2010 World Cup in May 2004.

“Aids is a major problem to be tackled by the entire world. To deal with it requires resources far beyond the capacity of one continent. No single country has the capacity to deal with it.” -- in his book Conversations with Myself.
“The ANC has the historical responsibility to lead our nation and help build a united non-racial society” -- to ANC supporters in a pre-recorded message ahead of April 2009 elections.



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