Nelson Mandela has died

(343 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RIP

He was the first proper hero of mine
sad

A modern day saint. RIP thanks

Varya Fri 06-Dec-13 16:41:42

RIP dear man and thanks for all you did to promote peace. A sad loss for us all especially his family. I trust he is now in God's tender care.

1nsertnamehere Fri 06-Dec-13 16:46:19

The most moving thing I have heard all year was just on Radio 4.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wr4j3

Listen to it from 21:22.

x

ExcuseTypos Fri 06-Dec-13 16:49:45

I've just heard that programme Insert.

It had me in tears. X

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 16:51:43

Great what Madiba himself said in response to the saint idea, mami .....

"I'm not a saint .... unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying"

I think that sums him up so well - such warmth and humanity, such wisdom with that sparkle of wit too

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Fri 06-Dec-13 16:55:50

I think that is a very good maxim. Mandela was not a saint, but he did some amazing things and really did keep trying. Much of what he achieved he did at an age where people are often considered 'past it' and there is a lesson for us all in that.

ChildrensStoriesNet Fri 06-Dec-13 16:59:59

A Great Man who didn't waver from the right path.

Sadly we don't have anyone in the Uk political elite who has any idea, if only they learned from the outstanding example set.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 17:07:57

Indeed, remarkable that he wasn't released from prison until he was 71, in 1990.

Doublemuvver Fri 06-Dec-13 17:31:06

I blubbed like it was my own flesh and blood that had passed away. There is a quote somewhere that Mandela is part of all of us, his legacy must live on in all of us.
On a lighter note when explaining to my dc that he helped people with no human rights, dd asked if they could only turn left smile

Moreisnnogedag Fri 06-Dec-13 18:12:58

I cried when I heard this. He made South Africa united - where we could all stand shoulder to shoulder, helped by our faith in him. He made us understand that apartheid was wrong for all, whites and blacks, and that there was a way for us to work together for a new South Africa.

I honestly hope that we can keep his legacy alive in the choices we make and the direction we take SA in.

Merguez Fri 06-Dec-13 20:00:31

I used to be a journalist and was lucky enough to see Mandela in person. He was the guest speaker at a dinner for the press at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos; and made a very moving speech about how much he owed to the foreign press for publicising their campaign against Apartheid.
I think it is the only speech I've heard from a Head of State that I still remember - perhaps because it was so relevant to me.
And now I am a political campaigner myself, so maybe that is why.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 20:03:08

Every time i see the news I get a lump in my throat I am never normally like this I am the first person to say to anybody how can you be sad when you dont know a person (usually a famous person) , but I can't help it

I am just listening to that Radio 4 program - v good.

I have to be honest and say that I am a bit concerned about the sanctification of the man that is going on - he was not a saint, and in many ways that was also one of his strengths. And yes, he kept on trying - lovely quote smile.

I remember reading a biography of Winnie Mandela as a teenager and he certainly had his set of human weaknesses.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 20:56:58

I understand he was just a Human being with faults too

Of course there is a difference between being sad at having lost a loved one or a public figure (see Diana's death) and his death is certainly not a tragedy.

My feeling is more of 'end of an era' sensation rather than that a 95 year old person died after a very fulfilled and worthwhile life in the company of his family.
But I remember some reporting re the 'tragedy' of the Queen Mother's passing and me thinking hmm...

mrspremise Fri 06-Dec-13 21:01:19

I found out at hometime that my 7 year old son asked his teacher why she hadn't mentioned Nelson Mandela. It hadn't occurred to her to talk to them about him, but the TA (a friend of mine) said that my little guy stood up in front of the class and talked about the difference he has made. I am the proudest Mummy ever today smile .

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 21:01:40

yes I think that is what it is an end of an era feeling rather than sadness at a death Iyswim he was 95 years old

boogiewoogie Fri 06-Dec-13 21:03:43

Amazing man. He lived a fruitful life and given his age and condition, he went peacefully so not really a tragedy in that sense. What he has achieved should be celebrated as well as the loss of a great person mourned.

God bless.

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 21:16:21

I do think it's sadness at the end of an era but also hope for his legacy and the values of peace, reconciliation, tolerance and democracy which are still needed today, everywhere.

When I was growing up in SA as a youngster, there was such an atmosphere of hopelessness - there was a sense that apartheid would never end or if it did, it would end up in a bloody civil war.

From the time I was around 11 or 12 (thanks being enlightened by my "subversive" human rights campaigner uncle!) I remember arguing constantly with adults around me about the injustices of apartheid and then progressing to actually protesting and demonstrating as a teenager and student. At times it really did seem hopeless.

I can clearly remember the last demo I went to in Durban, just after FW de Klerk got in, and being amazed that we weren't chased down by the police as usual. I realised then that things might actually change and it was clear the order (not to beat up the protesters as usual) had come from high. SA's not perfect today by any means but it was thanks to Nelson Mandela's leadership that we made it through those early years.

I don't usually get emotional about news reports but this one is different - have definitely had a lump in my throat today.

mrspremise, wow, you are rightly proud today smile

wordsmith, amen to that: I hope his death does not lead to people forgetting his values; reconciliation being the big one in my eyes.

I was trying to imagine being in prison for 27 years, 27 years of hard labour and coming out offering forgiveness and looking to form a partnership with my oppressors.
I am not sure I'd've been that person.

Also to achieve your life's ambition when you only regain your freedom at the age of 71, that takes strength of character that is beyond me.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 06-Dec-13 21:28:57

Even though it was probably time, something wonderful has gone.

HesterShaw Fri 06-Dec-13 21:32:34

wordsmith please may I ask a question? When he was voted in, did white South Africans know what kind of man and politician de Klerk was? Did it quickly become apparent, if they didn't? And what was the reaction when it became clear?

Actually, three questions smile

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 21:41:40

DS (9) and I were reading the children's version of The Long Walk to Freedom tonight. I'd really recommend it - full of lovely pictures and manages to convey the brutality of apartheid without being unsettling for DC. At the end of it, DS sort of shrugged his shoulders in an exasperated kind of way and said, "but it was all just about skin colour - so what if your skin's a different colour!" - too true!

It seems that so many positions around the world are so entrenched - if only all leaders had Madiba's attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation, the world would be a better place.

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 21:52:23

Hestershaw: You know the funny thing is I'm not sure they did. From my point of view (and that of my friends - we'd all just left a university which I saw recently described as "a hotbed of anti-apartheid activity" grin ) we didn't trust him at all! Frankly we'd been hearing the "reform" message for years and years and very little had changed. In fact, under PW Botha (FW de Klerk's predecessor), things had become far worse and oppressive so we were expecting more of the same and it was a happy surprise - for the left/liberals - when his agenda became apparent.

In terms of the white electorate who voted him in, I'm not sure they realised how serious he was about reform. I do feel for FW de Klerk sometimes. He didn't really get the recognition he deserved for ending apartheid and he ended up being loathed by the right wing section of the people who voted him in. He was slated (by the right) as a sell-out to his people. However, I think many white South Africans were relieved that things were finally changing (whilst some were horrified obviously).

I think the other thing that is important was also the whole thing that in the '94 election, it was a single vote for the party.

The elections before were so heavily weighted - it was never one man one vote. It was also heavily weighted by the ruling party so The National Party were able to maintain power.

I think it was for saints like Helen Suzman and the Black sash who were able to be the thorns in the sides of the ruling party.

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