Nelson Mandela has died

(343 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.


He was the first proper hero of mine

MadCap Thu 05-Dec-13 21:47:23


Shakey1500 Thu 05-Dec-13 21:47:36


WireCatGlitteryBaubles Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:20

Sad isn't it. sad

Meglet Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:24


OhYouMerryLittleKitten Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:42

RIP sad

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:53

Where have you read that? Nothing on sky news or BBC?

LineRunner Thu 05-Dec-13 21:48:57

Something inside so strong.

loveroflife Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:00

watching bbc news now...he will be remembered forever

CorrieDale Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:02

He gave us hope for humanity.


SantasTessTackle Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:31

How awful sad

I googled and there's no news of it. Where can I read?

LineRunner Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:34

Zuma making a live statement. BBC 24 hour news.

FriendlyElephant Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:36

In the past ten minutes?

Annunziata Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:42

God bless him.

JewelFairies Thu 05-Dec-13 21:49:43


It was kind of obvious that it was coming, but I feel such a loss.
I am not South African.
I am not African.

Mogz Thu 05-Dec-13 21:50:07

Rest in peace, the world has lost one of it's greatest souls.

sad what a loss for his family, South Africa and all of us. He was such an inspiration.

Statement being made on BBC News 24 just now


Mine too pacific - also the first autobiography I ever read.

RIP a great man.

flipchart Thu 05-Dec-13 21:50:54

BBC interrupted mrs Brown's boys for a statement from president Zuma

leadrightfoot Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:03


wistlin Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:15


StolenStollen Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:21

God bless his soul. He gave us hope in humankind that you could never have imagined.
RIP sad

BettyBotter Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:35

He was an amazing inspiration. I feel extremely sad.

difficultpickle Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:36

Very sad but not a surprise. There is no one in power in S Africa who is capable of carrying on his legacy sad

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:54

Interrupted BBC 1 to show President Zuma making statement about Mr. Mandela.

May he rest in peace.

FeastOfPhteven Thu 05-Dec-13 21:51:59


Theincidental Thu 05-Dec-13 21:52:14

Incredible, , inspirational, courageous man.


Such an important figure of my time. RIP

choccyp1g Thu 05-Dec-13 21:52:27

RIP Madiba.

A great man.

So sad.

PickleFish Thu 05-Dec-13 21:52:45


theladyrainy Thu 05-Dec-13 21:52:54

A great man. Rest in peace. thanks

WorraLiberty Thu 05-Dec-13 21:52:57

His Daughter was on Daybreak this morning, talking about the new film sad

RIP thanks

EdithWeston Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:10

Chat thread will go pfft. There's one "in the news" if you want to write something more enduring at this time.

sad RIP.

mygrandchildrenrock Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:25

A truly amazing man.

Goodness, they just stated he'd retired from public life in 2004 - I cannot believe it's been that long!

'May his soul rest in peace' (President Zuma)

The biopic is premiering tonight in London, they must be very strange.

RIP - I don't have the words to do him justice

Unexpected lump in throat.

SecretSantaFix Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:45

Whether he is viewed as a terrorist or freedom fighter, he stayed true to his principles and dreams.

He achieved so much against such staggering odds, it is small wonder he is revered by so many.

He is one of the most well known political figures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, may his legacy be ongoing for freedom and equality and peace.

ArtisanLentilWeaver Thu 05-Dec-13 21:53:56

Such sad news. An astonishing man who lived an incredible life.

IamInvisible Thu 05-Dec-13 21:54:16

sad I've gone very, very cold.

The world has lost a very great man.

May he rest in peace.

greyvix Thu 05-Dec-13 21:54:16

RIP Nelson Mandela

Feel, not be. Sorry, overtired

DramaAlpaca Thu 05-Dec-13 21:54:35

So sad. What a truly inspirational man.

RIP flowers

Oh, the movie - I forgot all about that.

Good grief, what a alignment of events.

One of the greatest men of our time.RIP.thanks

ExcuseTypos Thu 05-Dec-13 21:55:12

A truly magnificent man.

startwig1982 Thu 05-Dec-13 21:55:27

sad So sad. What a great man. I'm watching the BBC with tears in my eyes.

DontmindifIdo Thu 05-Dec-13 21:55:49

Gosh, expected, but still so shocking that he's actually gone.

kelper Thu 05-Dec-13 21:56:05

Sleep well mandiba

bialystockandbloom Thu 05-Dec-13 21:56:19

sad RIP

Sounds so trite but the world is a better place for having him in it. How many people, ever, could that be said about.

Misssss Thu 05-Dec-13 21:56:26

Really really sad. He was a legend and will always be remembered.

TheGonnagle Thu 05-Dec-13 21:56:41

sad RIP one of the great men of our times.

Oh, I know the thread will go in a while - that's fine.
I am not sure that I am capable of anything profound and worthy of preservation.

Or we could ask MNHQ to move it?

Should've thought where I put it before I posted blush

I know he has not been in political power, but I still worry that the will leave a vacuum behind - not just for his family (of course he will) but also publicly and politically.

happypotamus Thu 05-Dec-13 21:57:19

Not surprising given his age and poor state of health, but a great loss to the world.
I am part way through reading his biography. I wish I had found more time to get it finished in his lifetime.

Faverolles Thu 05-Dec-13 21:57:49

That's so sad sad

God it's sad, a truly great man.

SoupDragon Thu 05-Dec-13 21:58:09

There's not a lot to say really. At least he saw all the changes and died free and at peace.

stickysausages Thu 05-Dec-13 21:58:54

Am genuinely upset sad

A genuine loss to humankind sad

FeastOfPhteven Thu 05-Dec-13 21:59:00

I lived in SA when he became president. Much respect for bloke. May he rest in peace.

Yes, I agree, he saw his life's work come to fruition.

And he had been very ill for rather a long time.

RIP Madiba - a courageous man and an icon of all time

Such sad news - please let the family stop their bickering and give the man the honour he deserves.

Hambe Kahle Madiba

harticus Thu 05-Dec-13 21:59:38

RIP Madiba.

TidyDancer Thu 05-Dec-13 21:59:40

He will be remembered both for the very great things he did, and the horrifically awful things he did.

It is a very sad day. RIP.

MamaMary Thu 05-Dec-13 21:59:41

A truly inspirational man. A great loss to humanity. Yet his legacy will endure.


LEMisafucker Thu 05-Dec-13 21:59:47

So sad - but a life so worthwhile

MerryMarigold Thu 05-Dec-13 22:00:58

Wow! It was coming, but still...the end of SUCH a life.

Slinkysista Thu 05-Dec-13 22:01:31

A truely great man:-(

Lighthousekeeping Thu 05-Dec-13 22:02:57

A great man x

So sad. What an amazing man, he changed the world and I hope he will always be remembered as a hero.

Norem Thu 05-Dec-13 22:03:16

RIP a truly great man.
Will be missed but never forgotten.

I've just read LEM's comment and agree so much. In fact, I'm not sure I can even see his death as sad iyswim. He's done amazing things, he made great changes to the world, he has a loving family - and died with them around him, aged 95. As deaths go, it's a good one.

Helpyourself Thu 05-Dec-13 22:03:33

27 years in prison and not an ounce of rancour.

AlpacaPicnic Thu 05-Dec-13 22:03:36

I am glad he is at peace, and no longer in pain.

PublicEnemyNumeroUno Thu 05-Dec-13 22:04:15


But hey, 95 is bloody good innings

LemonMousstletoeandWine Thu 05-Dec-13 22:04:17

The WHOLE WORLD will be in mourning - how many people could command that sort of respect and love?

RIP sad

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Thu 05-Dec-13 22:04:18

He made so many personal sacrifices for humanity. We are a better world because of him.

Oh, it does sound like he had what you'd call a 'good death'.
After a very full life.

I cannot disagree with TidyDancer's post though.

Abra1d Thu 05-Dec-13 22:05:27


Apatite1 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:06:16

Not surprised but very saddened nonetheless.

Husband has just told me that he has heard him speak close up, I'm very sad I will now never have the privilege.


vestandknickers Thu 05-Dec-13 22:06:21

No words.

A great man.


snowsjoke Thu 05-Dec-13 22:08:18

A visionary and courageous man. I feel unexpectedly sad and tearful about this news but have so much respect for Mandela and all that he has achieved. May he rest in peace.

MrsSJG Thu 05-Dec-13 22:09:14

R.I.P Nelson
A truly inspirational gentleman of our time.
We will never forget

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 22:09:42


ajandjjmum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:09:45

RIP Madiba - what a life!

Remember the love and respect with which he was held as we celebrated his 90th birthday in South Africa.

The world loses another of its greatest examples of humanity. RIP Mandela.


Beckamaw Thu 05-Dec-13 22:10:31


I'm a bit shock that 5 News just announced that 'He was an inspiration to black people everywhere'.
He was an inspiration to people everywhere.

It is so obvious that the BBC had a report on his life lines up for some time - I know that this is what big news corporations do (have obituaries ready for all sorts of VIPs), but it's still weird hmm

hopefulgum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:11:19

Rest In Peace beautiful man. He gave hope to so many.

omuwalamulungi Thu 05-Dec-13 22:12:13

RIP Madiba. A true African hero.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 05-Dec-13 22:12:47

I don't think it's weird it's been coming for awhile.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Thu 05-Dec-13 22:12:49

RIP Nelson Mandela.

An inspirational leader. A complex and flawed life, but one which achieved so much.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 05-Dec-13 22:12:54

Sleep well Nelson Mandela.

I'm sure I heard earlier that the film of 'The long walk to freedom' is out in January.

Only a few days ago I was explaining to DD1 what apartheid was,and about the anti-apartheid demonstartions that her Dad and I were involved in,in the 80's.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 05-Dec-13 22:13:37

Free Nelson Mandela was the first record I bought with my own money.

Darkesteyes Thu 05-Dec-13 22:13:50

RIP Nelson Mandela. A wonderful man who stood up for what he believed in. An inspiration

GW297 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:14:19

Sad news, amazing man,

squoosh Thu 05-Dec-13 22:15:08

A true statesman, South Africa needs a Mandela now more than ever.

I remember watching his long walk to freedom so well.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 05-Dec-13 22:15:12

A great man if not the greatest man in our lifetime

i hope south africa continues the changes he put in place

DoctorTwo Thu 05-Dec-13 22:15:12

I never cry when somebody I don't know personally dies. Except now. What a remarkable man.

saffronwblue Thu 05-Dec-13 22:15:24

I am glad he is at peace but I feel so sad. I was in Capetown this year when he was first ill. Words cannot do justice to the impact of this man.

The world is truly a sadder place without him

ParsingFancy Thu 05-Dec-13 22:18:13

Hamba kahle, Madiba. sad

BoffinMum Thu 05-Dec-13 22:18:32

Pacific, there are files in BBC offices with obituaries and plans for programmes in the case of leading figures dying. It's so some dignity and presence can be brought to the programming. Quite right too, I think.

Rather spookily the day before Diana died I actually read her file in passing while I was waiting for someone. sad

Mintyy Thu 05-Dec-13 22:19:21

I don't feel sad that he has died. His time had come and he was a very old man. He had a huge impact on the world. What an amazing legacy to leave behind. Am pleased he is suffering no longer. RIP Nelson Mandela.

QueenofSleep Thu 05-Dec-13 22:19:37

When I was in early labour with DS1 I saw an article about Nelson Mandela in a newspaper. I'd been to South Africa on my honeymoon and had read his autobiography - I looked at his picture and thought that if a man can withstand 27 years in prison without bitterness, then I could withstand any pains that labour would bring. I took his picture with me to hospital, and when the pain got really bad I looked at it and he brought me strength. I had a lovely water birth with no pain relief, and he came with me again when I had DS2. It may sound strange but he was the best birth partner! I'm so sad he has gone.

NearTheWindmill Thu 05-Dec-13 22:20:56

He fought for peace for many and deserves now to be at peace. His sacrifices were the world's gift. He deserves to be beatified in my opinion.

A truly inspirational man. RIP

MrsBramleyApple Thu 05-Dec-13 22:23:51

How ironic that he died on the night of the premier of his life story film. One of his daughter's is there.
My ds2 tells me that NM is "Boss of African's" and "Premier like Cameron!"

SelectAUserName Thu 05-Dec-13 22:24:25

Farewell to a great man.

I don't think I have ever experienced such a sense of euphoria and optimism like it when SA went to the polls in 1994. When you think how he single handedly pulled SA from the brink, is still remarkable.

He had such a remarkable grace and presence - we are all poorer today

Jinsei Thu 05-Dec-13 22:24:46

Such very sad news. What a loss, but what a legacy!

I'm wondering how to explain this to pupils at my school tomorrow. Yes, he was a terrorist, yet so loved by so many people.

bassetfeet Thu 05-Dec-13 22:25:32

His spirit of forgiveness. Cant find other words to say. A great man.

Quangle Thu 05-Dec-13 22:27:21

Agree with "pacificdogwood"

I have no connection with South Africa but feel connected with Nelson Mandela as so many do. He's been a great figure in our lives and perhaps there aren't many of those these days. I hope we can help to sustain his legacy somehow.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 05-Dec-13 22:27:36

Well my little nieces have already text me about it will sad faces. No mention of him been a terrorist I doubt it would even be on their radar so I wouldn't worry about it. It's certainly not on mine.

Boffin, I know, and of course it makes sense to have some suitable footage at the ready.
I suppose it's my reaction I find weird more than anything else...

NewtRipley Thu 05-Dec-13 22:29:57

Just watched the news with my 13 year old. He said "He lived a good life, didn't he?" Says it all really. Truly good man.

It's the old chestnut of "One person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist". Or vice versa.
The difference to me is the preparedness for violence.

And this is were the man and public figure is more complex than just the 'first black president'.

I think children can manage complexity.

snowsjoke Thu 05-Dec-13 22:31:55

Wonderful and moving tribute to Mandela (name Nomsu?) from the BBC's South Africa correspondent in the studio....

caramelwaffle Thu 05-Dec-13 22:33:16


Lighthousekeeping Thu 05-Dec-13 22:33:43

Don't children already know who he is? My nieces learnt about him in primary school.

Just watching Obama. Very moving.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 05-Dec-13 22:34:00

so so sad. A truly great man. sad But what a life's achievements.

Quangle Thu 05-Dec-13 22:34:14

yes she was good snowsjoke. Always watch BBC at times like these.

FreeAtLastAtLongLast Thu 05-Dec-13 22:35:18

Amazingly brave and inspirational man, an absolute gentleman. Rest in peace Madiba xxx

ShakeRattleNRoll Thu 05-Dec-13 22:35:25

RIP sad

phantomnamechanger Thu 05-Dec-13 22:39:30

a real hero, an icon of our time


thefirstmrsrochester Thu 05-Dec-13 22:39:52

A fine fine man, RIP.

Shosha1 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:39:55

When the Roll Call of Heroes is read.

He will be the first.

Rest in Peace Sir

boo97 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:40:07

An amazing man, a great loss, RIP sad

soimpressed Thu 05-Dec-13 22:40:53

I'm crying sad. What a great man.

AfricanExport Thu 05-Dec-13 22:45:44

Hamba Khale Madiba

clarinetV2 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:47:32

A truly great man has gone from the world. I hope his passing is marked with the dignity and respect he deserves. Amandla!

Selks Thu 05-Dec-13 22:49:01

"It always seems impossible until it's done"....Mandela.

A man of the most incredible vision, determination and humanity.

The end of an era. I am old enough to remember the apartheid era and the struggles against it...the anti-apartheid movement in this country and globally...he made such an impression on me in my formative youth. His legacy is too huge to measure.

Vev Thu 05-Dec-13 22:51:10

RIP great man.

BillyBanter Thu 05-Dec-13 22:51:30

A once in a lifetime man. RIP.

Perhaps we should all show our appreciation and wear some loud lounge shirts to work (or a no. 6 'Bok rugby shirt)

HeeBeeGeebies Thu 05-Dec-13 22:58:55

What a hero, RIP.

LizzieVereker Thu 05-Dec-13 23:04:49

May he now have the long peaceful rest which he so richly deserves. Goodnight, Great Gentleman.

joshandjamie Thu 05-Dec-13 23:08:37

my thoughts - as a South African - on this wonderful man.

SantaIKnowHimIKnowHim Thu 05-Dec-13 23:10:11

A great man, and a sad loss.

EllaMenOhPea Thu 05-Dec-13 23:10:49

Sad, but he achieved so much in his lifetime.

A truly amazing man, and an inspiration.

May he rest in peace.

LulaPalooza Thu 05-Dec-13 23:12:25

That's beautiful, joshandjamie. Thank you for sharing that.

iwantavuvezela Thu 05-Dec-13 23:12:46

Rip Madiba. Your life is your struggle you said. No more struggle for you. Always loved

Dawndonnaagain Thu 05-Dec-13 23:14:59


RealAleandOpenFires Thu 05-Dec-13 23:15:11

R.I.P. Sir (I hope that he will be remembered on all calenders for years to come). heck I remember when the Antiques Roadshow, was interrupted for the "live transmission" of his release.

I just hope to the Gods that SA doesn't implode now...sad

ChairmanWow Thu 05-Dec-13 23:16:43

Such sadness that the world has lost the rarest of people - someone who risked everything and lost his freedom to fight for the freedom of others. RIP Madiba. The world is an emptier place without you.

thegreylady Thu 05-Dec-13 23:17:17

An amazing man of great strength and integrity. Rest easy now sad

josh, that is lovely, thank you.

'Invictus' (the poem) is so fitting

puddingsforsandy Thu 05-Dec-13 23:18:49

My heart genuinely aches. I have loved and respected him from a very young age. He also resembles my Dad. May he rest in perfect peace.The long walk to freedom has finished. Madiba, may your legacy live on.

LittlePeaPod Thu 05-Dec-13 23:20:37

May he rest in peace. sad

ColinFirthsGirth Thu 05-Dec-13 23:32:19

Revel in paradise beautiful soul x

FreeAtLastAtLongLast Thu 05-Dec-13 23:33:25

That is beautiful joshandjamie thanks

thornrose Thu 05-Dec-13 23:33:36

God I remember attending the Nelson Mandela Freedom concert at Wembley in 1990, it was amazing. Seeing him on that big stage, looking so tiny.
Inspirational man RIP and thank you.

hakunamatata8 Thu 05-Dec-13 23:34:07

27 years of those years in jail, and yet he forgave his oppressors, My life would have been very different if Mandela and his counterparts had not fought againsT oppression and racism they way he did. He paid a high price so that Black South Africans could be FREE

ilovemybum Thu 05-Dec-13 23:35:41

RIP sad

HesterShaw Thu 05-Dec-13 23:40:02

Sleep well, great man x

InpraiseofPolly Thu 05-Dec-13 23:42:06


thecatfromjapan Thu 05-Dec-13 23:45:02


I think that tomorrow I'm going to try and do something a bit better - like bringing a teeny pebble to something grand on a mountain - just as a practical remembrance.

Definitely a life worth giving thanks for.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 05-Dec-13 23:45:04

I was at the Free Nelson Mandela concert at Wembley, heavily pregnant, in 1988.

We knew at the time that he had suffered unspeakable injustice.

We had no way of knowing how unbelievably generous, magnanimous and dignified he would be, having been granted his freedom.

A shining example of humanity at its best.

TheBunsOfPanettone Thu 05-Dec-13 23:45:16

RIP great man sad

DowntonTrout Thu 05-Dec-13 23:47:04

I met Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1994.

He was the kindof man that sucked the air out of the room when he entered it. His charisma was breathtaking.

I am honoured to have shared the air with such a great man and I wish him peace in death, as he tried to find peace and compassion in life.

LulaPalooza Thu 05-Dec-13 23:54:39

It's in our hands

thepobblewhohasnotoes Fri 06-Dec-13 00:06:11
Bogeyface Fri 06-Dec-13 00:08:23

I cried when I heard.

RIP, and thank you for the gifts you gave us.

ZingSweetPea Fri 06-Dec-13 00:09:36

RIP Madiba thanks

ParsingFancy Fri 06-Dec-13 00:26:00

Tribute and biography in song by the fabulous late Brenda Fassie: My Black President

annielouisa Fri 06-Dec-13 00:37:22

RIP to a very special man. Nelson Mandela a true hero. He will be missed but he deserve to rest peacefully now.

midnightexpress Fri 06-Dec-13 02:09:48

I remember very clearly the BBC reporting on the first post-apartheid elections in SA. It was early morning and they interviewed an ancient man in the huge queue, able to vote for the very first time. His words: 'Today, we break our chains'.

I can't begin to imagine how that must feel. RIP Mandela.

funnyperson Fri 06-Dec-13 02:21:04

Thank you Mr Mandela for your great inspiration.

SwedeAway Fri 06-Dec-13 05:55:06

'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

I live in South Africa (but I am not South African). This morning, the whole country is at a standstill and people are crying everywhere. This is a sad day for our country and the world. One of the greatest men has left us.

May you always rest in peace.

Salbertina Fri 06-Dec-13 06:06:56

RIP Madiba.
Am here also. Nowhere near Joburg or Pretoria though where it all seems to be happening.
Life seems as normal outside my window so far. Its a long waiting time till funeral- wonder if will be times to coincide with public holiday on 16th?

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 06:28:36

I live in SA - grew up here, left and then returned post-apartheid. Here in SA, we all owe him a massive debt. He steered us through a period which could have been very different. A real leader. I'm glad he is at peace. Hamba kahle Madiba - we will all miss you.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 06-Dec-13 06:36:39

I was working in a hotel cleaning rooms the day he was released.
I stuck on the telly to see it and still remember thinking what a beautiful face he had, he looked like a man at peace with himself.
He also proved to have a beautiful soul.

marssparklesdownonme Fri 06-Dec-13 06:41:29

RIP flowers

OnaPromise Fri 06-Dec-13 06:52:46

RIP - an extraordinary person.

lollylaughs Fri 06-Dec-13 07:08:55

As I mentioned on the other thread. South Africans are sad today, and mourning a great man.

notmydog Fri 06-Dec-13 07:12:55

wordsmiths exactly what I wanted to say. I'm a white South African. We owe this man more than we would ever know. What an amazing life he has led. Sleep in peace dear Madiba.

ProfondoRosso Fri 06-Dec-13 07:13:49

God bless him, eternal rest.

NomDeClavier Fri 06-Dec-13 07:19:22

RIP Mandela

His presence in the world, even when he had retired from public life, served as a constant reminder and an inspiration for people all over the world of all races to do the right thing. Something very precious has been lost with this man.

Thought President Zuma made a beautiful, thoughtful speech.
Also loved Obama's tribute - talking about how he was one of the best people we have all shared this Earth with.

So loved his warmth and his engaging smile - felt like you knew him personally didn't it?

And such wisdom especially in working for reconciliation and peace x

ButThereAgain Fri 06-Dec-13 08:22:11

I remember exactly where I was when he walked out of prison. I can't think of any other moment so iconic in my adult life except for the breaking down of the Berlin Wall -- part of a set of events that themselves contributed to an acknowledgement by the South African regime that it was a broken and expired entity that had to change and could change. The revolutions in Eastern Europe and in South Africa together defended a short optimistic period of incredible creative freedom that it is hard to recapture now.

Nelson Mandela deserves all of the tributes he is getting now but it is still uncomfortable to watch them. There is a slight feeling of an old man being exploited a little -- by the media and by politicians. The media because they have all their ready-made packages they've been itching to air, plus 24-hour rolling footage of small groups of mourning South Africans to fill pointlessly extended news reports. And politicians because they are all so eager to take their little portion of his reflected light. Like others have said, I hope he doesn't get too much of the Diana/Mother Theresa treatment. His huge contribution deserves a serious and dignified period of analytical obituary.

Absy Fri 06-Dec-13 08:48:11

I'm glad that he's finally at rest - poor man has been ill for so long (he was what, 94?) it's good that he has some peace.

I'm South African, and he was such a great leader to have - it all could have gone so differently. I remember people being absolutely terrified that the end of Apartheid would mean a bloody civil war, violent retribution, but it wasn't. It was a peaceful passing of power, and Mandela (and Desmond Tutu) were absolutely instrumental in that happening. His lack of bitterness and his willingness to look for the best in people is utterly inspiring. It's such a pity that now SA doesn't seem to have any leaders who are able to live up to his legacy.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 08:51:25

RIp to a wonderful Human being I shed a few tears last night,

pinkbraces Fri 06-Dec-13 08:52:22

A truly great man. RIP

roguepixie Fri 06-Dec-13 09:42:24

RIP. A truly amazing person. A giant of a man.

StillWearingOddSocks Fri 06-Dec-13 10:10:44

Incredible man and leader. I was at the Nelson Mandela freedom tribute concert after his release, at wembley. I still have the programmes. He was my hero when at school and still is. A truly selfless man.

Agree with someone else who posted above...lets hope he doesn't get the saccharine treatment. A lot of the MPs may not have been so vocal when apartheid was still active.

Mignonette Fri 06-Dec-13 10:19:18

Totally agree with ButThere and the inevitable parade of competitive tributes, the famous all vying with each other as to who knew him best/met him the most.

Amazing Grace #Madiba.

wistlin Fri 06-Dec-13 10:25:30

Didn't Margaret Thatcher call him a terrorist? Has DC made any kiind of statement since his death?

Mignonette Fri 06-Dec-13 10:30:58

Yes the old witch did.

Gladvent Fri 06-Dec-13 10:31:12

RIP. A great man. I was a teenager when he was released. We had yellow ribbons everywhere and the song playing for weeks.

Yes DC said he was a hero of our time and of all time, and that a light had gone out in the world. IIRC
Was good, but the light going out bit came across slightly oddly to my ears
Not as good as speech from Zuma or Obama IMHO but good enough

Kendodd Fri 06-Dec-13 10:39:14

I can't, off the top of my head, think of anyone in the world as universally respected and inspirational.

The world is a poorer place today.

melika Fri 06-Dec-13 10:43:52

Such a beautiful man, in every way. I would have been honoured to have met him. May he rest in peace.

My kids know the song, 'Free, Nelson Mandela' so well cos it's one of my favourite singing songs around the house. I am white with Irish heritage. No connnection but somehow he made that connection around the world. Thank you Mandiba. thanks

sisterofmercy Fri 06-Dec-13 11:03:00

A complex man who could have been so bitter but instead, after his release, was a man of immense peace and grace but who was still strong enough to lead during a period of reconciliation and soul searching.

A global hero. RIP

boschy Fri 06-Dec-13 11:08:45

I am relieved his suffering is over, if I'm completely honest.

yes, of course, sad day for the world - but no more medical intervention for Nelson. RIP

Mignonette Fri 06-Dec-13 11:10:58


SoupDragon Fri 06-Dec-13 11:12:04

Boschy I agree. He lived a long and full life and died a free man in a country he helped free from apartheid.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 11:13:53

I agree boschy he was an ill 95yr old who had been dying for a long time from what i understand he can now RIP

ExcuseTypos Fri 06-Dec-13 11:19:53

Mig I can't read that. I'd love to know what it says please.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 11:21:32

If you click on the picture it comes up bigger excusetypos

Mignonette Fri 06-Dec-13 11:22:53

Thanks MrsJay Sorry, I should have said that, Excuse.

it is rather lovely isn't it and of course I like to believe Mr Mandela would be more touched by the tributes from unknown people than all the dignitaries...

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 11:24:27

yes it is a lovely quote

Abra1d Fri 06-Dec-13 11:25:30

That is lovely, Mignonette.

I hope there's another man or woman with similar qualities to NM growing up somewhere in the world, because we really need them. Is it possible, though?

ormirian Fri 06-Dec-13 11:25:40

One of those people that you feel you'd love to have met. His death diminishes the world sad

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 11:27:26

I watched a clip of him dancing earlier on the news the man just seemed so joyous and happy

ExcuseTypos Fri 06-Dec-13 11:30:10

Thank you!

It is a lovely quote. It sums up his life and although he was a leader, it is very relevant to us little people too.

And I agree with you Abra, I hope there are girls and boys growing up somewhere in the world with his qualities.

Mignonette Fri 06-Dec-13 11:31:07

He did seem full of joy and was probably a bit naughty wink....

BeCool Fri 06-Dec-13 11:40:48

I'm not so sad that he has died - he was old and frail and his time had come. I'm thankful and grateful he died an old old free man.

I've never felt so emotional over someone I never met. I'm thinking of his life and everything he achieved, and how much the world has changed in my lifetime, in no small part because of him.

HesterShaw Fri 06-Dec-13 11:53:36

Good post, BeCool. He's out of pain now.

Archbishop Tutu was obviously very upset sad.

Yes, BeCool, if I think how I'm feeling it's not so much sad as inspired thanks
When I see the singing and dancing in South Africa I can see many feel the same - of course even more so for the people of his country

HesterShaw Fri 06-Dec-13 12:03:57

People are saying there is no one to replace him. I'd quite like to believe he was exactly what South Africa needed at the time. He has not been in public life for several years now. In his wisdom, he stepped back and handed over before he physically needed to, so that others could take up the mantle. Wasn't the last time he even appeared in public at the World Cup in 2010. I'm hopeful that decision bore fruit and South Africans don't need him. I so hope that.

petteacher Fri 06-Dec-13 12:05:00

He was kept in prison for 27 years Almost unheard of RIP

petteacher Fri 06-Dec-13 12:06:47

These are Obituaries. The papers at the weekend will go into how S.A changed

HesterShaw Fri 06-Dec-13 12:20:58

Yes I know smile

However I don't think was being inappropriate. Obituaries take in all sorts.

Rest easy, great man.

pmTea Fri 06-Dec-13 14:12:15

Abra1d I hope that is possible. God know the world continues to need more people like Mandela. A great man.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Dec-13 14:27:13


We've moved this to In The News now at the OP's request

2Tinsellytocare Fri 06-Dec-13 14:29:56

RIP, you achieved so much let us never forget the travesties you fought against

CosyTeaBags Fri 06-Dec-13 14:38:15

I'm not so sad that he has died - he was old and frail and his time had come. I'm thankful and grateful he died an old old free man

I agree with this - they had people on the news earlier saying it was a 'Tragedy'. But it's not is it - a 95 year old man dying a peaceful death and leaving a great legacy is not a tragedy. It is time for celebration of his life, and reflection on what he has taught us.

Wafflenose Fri 06-Dec-13 14:51:24

It is not a tragedy. It was time. I am not South African, and never met him (would have loved to) but it still seems strange and sad that he's not around any more. Such a lovely, lovely man. I'm so pleased that he lived a long and productive life after his release, and died old, free and happy. What a legacy. I don't think there will ever be anybody quite like him.

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.

Listen to it from 21:22.


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.

mrsjay Fri 06-Dec-13 22:03:34

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

I think sometimes people forget ^ ^ he was 71 so seen as elderly then i guess he just thought I have to much to do he retired from public life in his 80s i believe so he did so much in a short space of time, he also got remarried at 80 which i think it brilliant,

There was a referendum in '93 called by the Ruling party asking the voters (whites) if we wanted to continue down the road to change.

I am very glad that FW de Kierk got the Nobel Prize with NM because his contribution was just as important - although he did not have to sacrifice quite as much to the cause.

I was trying to talk to DS3(5) about racism and skin colour and he just looked at me like hmm - he just does not get how that should even come in to consideration when he decides who he wants to be friends with and who he does not like grin.

I heard an interesting comment on the radio today (no idea who the speaker was) suggesting that Apartheid was as much economy as with race: the white minority had so much to gain by maintaining the status quo and could not see what it could possibly gain.

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 22:11:23

I'd forgotten about that referendum in '93 Theknackofflying - I was thinking about 1989/90 so actually yes (in answer to Hestershaw's question) the white electorate did vote clearly for change didn't they?

When i was at varsity then the DP was running a yes bus from our res to the polling station

HesterShaw Fri 06-Dec-13 22:23:37

Thank you wordsmith. Very interesting.

I remember the 80s and the Botha era, and the awful escalation of violence. South Africa appeared nightly on the news. In retrospect it was clearly coming to a head. And yet I have a friend, a white South African of English descent, who was a child on a farm and who had literally no idea what was going on in his own country.

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 22:27:11

PacificDogwood : I love the fact that kids don't get the race thing!

Recently DD (13) met a girl she really clicked with at a party. Anyway, they swapped numbers and DD asked me to take her to meet up with this girl at movies a couple of weeks later. On the way in the car I was asking her about her new friend. DD said, "Oh she's so nice, so funny. She's got cool hair, likes the same kind of music as me ... yada yada."

Anyway we got to the movie and her friend is brown skinned. I said nothing but inwardly thought how lovely that the next generation of South Africans is free from all this race crap (to some extent).

It was just that the colour of her skin was the least interesting thing to DD and was irrelevant. It's minor miracles like that which keep me going in the face of the bad stuff in SA.

RedToothBrush Fri 06-Dec-13 22:28:57

"One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image I unwittingly projected to the outside world; of being regarded as a saint.

"I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps trying."

Mandela in 2010.

I understand a fascination with the 'other':
I was in a rather remote part of western Uganda some 20 years ago and was the only white person for miles around. I had long, brown hair which was a source of never-ending fascination to local children who would sneak up and touch it, then run off giggling or screeching when I pretended to turn around and 'get them' grin.

I remember feeling v odd at being so recognisable purely for the colour of me and how isolating it was even though I never ever encountered any unpleasantness towards me personally. But there was no hiding in the crowd...

I am only mentioning this because to me that memory makes NM's inclusiveness and active desire to reconcile ALL peoples of his country so much more poignant and real.

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 22:59:02

I think they need some of NM's spirit of reconciliation on the AIBU thread about NM - it's all kicking off there! grin

Hestershaw: And yet I have a friend, a white South African of English descent, who was a child on a farm and who had literally no idea what was going on in his own country.

Yep, I've seen this too - I'm not sure how it happens - parallel universe perhaps? Never understood so can't shed any light I'm afraid! smile

ExcuseTypos Fri 06-Dec-13 23:02:39

My dd is at University and shares accommodation with a white South African boy. She phoned me this afternoon to tell me that on hearing of Mandela's death, her flatmate was very upset. When he was calm he made a lovely speech to his friends about Mandela.

He had met him several times as a baby as they were neighbours and he has photos of himself with Mandela. Mandela used to love pushing him around the garden in his pram. Such simple things gave Mandela pleasure. How fantastic is that?smile

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 23:05:47

Pressed too soon! Except to say: at my own "hotbed of anti-apartheid activity university" there'd be people who were like, "Hey what are the waves doing today?" And you'd think to yourself - bloody hell the country's going up in flames and every day you come in and obsess about the waves. (Not casting any aspersions on surfer dudes in particular - my point is just that I suppose some people are apolitical to a fault (IMO))

wordsmithsforever Fri 06-Dec-13 23:07:25

So many people seem to have a cool Mandela story like that ExcuseTypos. I think he was just a nice guy - not a saint - but a good person.

maggiethecat Fri 06-Dec-13 23:40:08

Not sad at all, just glad that I lived at the time to experience him.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 23:55:42

That new generation not getting racism thing (because as someone said it's not only immoral but stupid too) reminds me of a story about ds when he was little. He'd been talking a lot about a new friend of his at school, and one morning I asked ds to point him out in the playground. ds said "He's that yellow boy over there" OK, I thought .... I looked across the playground ....
"yes mummy, over there with the yellow coat"
Ah, of course!

ILovePonyo Sat 07-Dec-13 08:29:46

Sorry to lower the tone but is anyone aware of the 'Mandela is a terrorist' type posts on Facebook? I've just come across one and I'm shocked tbh. I've had a look at the page it's from and basically a load of edl supporters bashing 'the Muslims', same predictable old shit. I'm torn between just defriending or challenging.

Apologies for bringing Facebook moans to this thread.

Well, he committed or helped plan to commit acts of terrorism, of course he did.
There was some discussion on another thread about justification of use of violence when left in a situation in which you had NO rights and the 'other side' was simply not engaging in attempts of dialogue.
AFAIK the 'terrorism' he was involved with was directed at things: railway lines, bridges etc. There were of course fatalities.

Personally, he shall remain a freedom fighter and not a terrorist in my mind.

FB is the devil's and I have no idea how you'd deal with crap like that.

ILovePonyo Sat 07-Dec-13 09:50:42

Ah, I didn't know there was another thread, could you link for me/direct me to it please?

mrsjay Sat 07-Dec-13 09:51:28

he never intended to kill anybody it was to distrupt things not kill anybody , the call he was a terrorist always irks me a little bit , but I guess at that time he was trying to free his country

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sat 07-Dec-13 09:56:00

Did anyone see Mandela responding to the question of whether he and ANC were involved in acts of terrorism on the excellent Dimbleby tribute last night?
Mandela talked about the definition of terrorism as being acts of violence against innocent people IIRC
I think he left that question hanging in the air about whether the people affected by ANC armed conflict were innocent. The division between terrorism and warfare or armed conflict is not always easy to determine and can depend on your perception of different situations.
Personally I am towards the pacifist end of the spectrum, and think much can be achieved with non-violent protest, but compared to NM I've had a very entitled and easy life.
Seems like he became more peaceful in his approach with increasing age but perhaps some important freedoms had been hard won by then?

“A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire with fire.”

Nelson Mandela

Stolen from the other thread - link coming up.

mamathechicken Sat 07-Dec-13 10:03:33

How absolutely marvellous to have been such an inspirational human being, live to the grand old age of 95 and be passed down in the history books for ever more.

R.I.P Nelson deserve too.

ILovePonyo Sat 07-Dec-13 10:10:11

Thank you pacific, will have a read of that thread. Good quote.

Phoebe47 Sat 07-Dec-13 10:52:44

He freed the black people of South Africa from oppression. He endured long years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement but he did not allow it to make him bitter. He changed South Africa forever by bringing down the apartheid system and giving black people the equality and opportunities that they had been denied before. He is my hero and I am so sad that he is gone but he will always be remembered for his courage and his capacity to forgive. He had his faults like all of us but he was a great man and the world is a lesser place now he has gone. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

ohtobecleo Sat 07-Dec-13 11:25:14

I was privileged to have been a volunteer at the polling booths of the first democratic election in SA. Watching that footage has been a moving experience.

Re the comment above of white S.Africans having 'no idea what was going on' - this is true and it was because there was a complete media shutdown in SA - I was very young but I remember my European family used to phone and ask us if we were ok as they saw things on the news that we didn't.

bisjo Sat 07-Dec-13 12:16:30

I remember when I was 9 falling out with my SA pen friend (she had been at my school and then returned to SA so we stayed in touch). I remember writing that I thought it was wrong that black and white SAfricans were treated differently. We eventually lost touch until we were in our 20s and Mandela was released.

She had trained as teacher and her school was featured on the BBC as one of the first integrated primary schools. Her attitude had of course changed completely and she said that growing up she really didn't think there was anything wrong.

Unfortunately I see little hope for the future South Africa when you have Zuma in charge and his professional and personal corruption.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 07-Dec-13 15:54:17

I can't remember Nelson Mandela being released and was shocked to hear it was 1990. I remember Terry Waite being released and people crying in the post office.

I have found myself in tears several times whenever I have thought about Mandela's death without really understanding why I am so upset. I never knew much about him but I can understand he must have been incredibly amazing to have so much respect from everyone around the world, and he always seemed just so lovely.

When he was ill a while ago certain members of his family acted in a horribly unseemly way and I truly hope all that crap does not happen again.

RIP your great, amazing man.

OhGood Sat 07-Dec-13 16:49:57

I will never forget him saying, 'Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die'.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the greatest, most courageous and generous act of forgiveness ever undertaken by any nation, anywhere.

On a personal level, so many of my friends were granted new lives and new freedoms by Mandela and the thousands of freedom fighters and supporters. As one single example - interracial marriages that would have been illegal under the apartheid regime.

Mandela, Madiba, Tata. We will keep trying to follow the bright path you lit for us.

oinktopus Sat 07-Dec-13 17:59:04

I remember thinking, when he was released, it was due to his age; that because he was in the autumn of his life, he could have no real impact in public life. Maybe those who sanctioned it thought the same. If so, I'm glad we were both entirely wrong.

I could not have predicted what was to follow; how much good he still had to do and actually did. It is an inspiration to know that someone with the same worldview as most of us could withstand, with dignity, the oppression against him personally, and against him generically by dint of his ethnic background. But not just to withstand with dignity - to still have the strength and the will to change not only his entire country, but the world as a whole.

I am delighted that he lived to see the result of his efforts, that he left the world a far better place than he found it, and that the annals of history are tipped - for once - in the right direction by the addition of an exemplar. When I think of what humanity should be, and what it is when it is at its best, the image in my mind looks very much like Nelson Mandela.

Mumzy Sat 07-Dec-13 19:05:11

I think if you want to know what SA would have been like without Nelson Mandela you only have to look at Zimbawe. SA is not perfect but much better than Mugabe's dictatorship. I think the word awesome is overused these days but its applicable to NM. He's work will be studied by students in the same way William Wilberforce is. Truly someone who left the world a better place than he found it.

Cassandra89075 Sat 07-Dec-13 19:28:27

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Cassandra89075 Sat 07-Dec-13 19:29:35

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ExcuseTypos Sat 07-Dec-13 19:31:14


PublicEnemyNumeroUno Sat 07-Dec-13 19:35:09


LaGuardia Sat 07-Dec-13 20:37:12

Apartheid is alive and well in SA, but it is now the whites who live in compounds, guarded by dogs, who fear for their lives.

squoosh Sat 07-Dec-13 20:44:40


Yes, it's only white South Africans who live in fear of violence.

SaHa123 Sat 07-Dec-13 20:49:02

What a great loss not only to South Africans but the world... A man who sacrificed 27 years of his life and fought for his country. When he stepped out of that prison cell at Robben Island he immediately forgave the people who put him there. His greatness is not only in what he achieved but his humility along the way.. I hope that his legacy lives on... I remember watching the Rugby World Cup game in 1995, Mandela wore the SA rugby T-shirt, this shocked the Nation because it meant that he never harboured any hatred, i remember the first black player Chester Williams. It wasn't just the victory, but the game had united South Africans of all colours, shapes, sizes..I remember tears flowing down my face (and i'm not even a big rugby fan)... I also remember in 1991, the first year the so called "White" schools had opened for pupils of all colours. That's the year i started Grade 1. I never understood much at the age of 6, but it's so ironic that my little girl will be going to the same all-girl school as i did in 2015... One day i will tell her the story of the great Nelson Mandela, may he rest in peace...

Salbertina Sat 07-Dec-13 20:50:32

Far more black on black violence here than black on white.
But true about how whites live - dogs, armed response, alarm, beams standard. I know black people who live like this too- becoming haves versus have-nots gradually rather than purely on racial terms.

SaHa123 Sat 07-Dec-13 20:54:57

I am a South African, I'm not white, every person i know including myself have been victims of crimes in South Africa. It's not only "whites". It's strange though the first thing i felt when i moved to the UK is the lack of tolerance and ignorance especially with regard to religion, culture etc. Yet, the UK is populated with foreigners, people of different cultures and religions, ethnicity... Despite the shortcomings, i still feel South Africa has a better sense of community.

Salbertina Sat 07-Dec-13 21:04:17

Agree its much warmer, more direct than UK.

ajandjjmum Sat 07-Dec-13 21:45:36

My DC have both spent a couple of months at school in South Africa, and loved the experience. DD particularly made great friends of all colours, and returned to meet up with friends again the following year. They both loved the warmth of the area they were in (East London) and we have made friends with some wonderful people.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 07-Dec-13 21:52:01

Where are MNHQ tonight? The above spamming posts were reported hours ago.

Apartheid is alive and well in SA, but it is now the whites who live in compounds, guarded by dogs, who fear for their lives.

Well, 'apartheid' if you take it to mean living apart is alive in well in many countries which consider themselves v democratic and even the 'cradle democracy': gated communities in the States, rich enclaves in the south of France, certain population groups living apart from each other segregated by their social status and income.
Everybody can sit on everybody's park benches FFS. Or marry each other. Or have access to any job/training.

Yes, racism is alive and well too. Sadly. But not as a political system.

FWIW, I have never been to SA, my experience is restricted to Uganda, Zambia and Simbabwe (and a boyfriend from Malawi - does that count? grin), so I am just extrapolating.

And of course there is fear - I wonder what people in white enclaves or armed compounds in SA feel is possibly making other SAs so angry and potentially violent??

I hope the singing and dancing and remembering NM will continue and that President Zuma will see the light too. Or at least that the next election will oust him

I've just reported again, Toffee

ExcuseTypos Sat 07-Dec-13 23:15:28

Glad those posts have gone now.

I had an email at 20.26 saying the posts has been deleted. confused

HesterShaw Sat 07-Dec-13 23:41:32

Ah I remember Chester Williams. What a player smile

And the symbolism of Mandela appearing it that shirt. It was fantastic.

Hogwash Sun 08-Dec-13 14:56:30

Can anyone recommend a good Mandela book?

ParcelFancy Sun 08-Dec-13 15:08:59

LaGuardia, white people in South Africa were living in enclaves surrounded by fences and dogs and afraid for their lives during apartheid. Created by apartheid.

What do you think the Group Areas Act was for?

And the more the white govt cracked down, the greater the violence became, and the more afraid the whites became - so the more the govt cracked down.

That's why Mandela seemed like a miracle. He cut the Gordian knot and allowed the country to step off the railroad to a seemingly unavoidable bloodbath.

ParcelFancy Sun 08-Dec-13 15:11:09

But I agree it seems a lot worse now for the haves, in terms of haves vs have nots.

Conspiracy theory is rife in SA about the timing and announcement of his death ...

Still doesn't detract from his legacy and heroism

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 16:48:00

I've heard it all now - 95 yr old man dies after period of illness especially over last 6 mths and there's a conspiracy theory!

Old age - and driving cars fast whilst under the influence (Diana's driver) - are sufficient explanations in themselves IMHO

Just came about at the same time that the current ANC head and party under a lot of media scrutiny ... And there was a big show of Zuma meeting a very out-of-it Mandela

Mandela family have been squabbling about burial places and legacy since he was hospitalised ...

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 08-Dec-13 17:12:21

And did he time his passing to coincide with the premiere in London of the new film of his life, hey? There's a coincidence - well yes, they do happen

complexnumber Sun 08-Dec-13 18:07:45

Can we also remember another stoic African leader: Sir Seretse Khama. of what is now Botswana.

He wasn't tortured or imprisoned, but he was denied the right to marry his British fiancé because it might upset the Apartheid Regime.

Eventually he did come back to Bechuanaland and founded the first multi racial and multi party in Africa.

It is still going strong due to his legacy.

They are both giants of humility and wisdom

Bicnod Sun 08-Dec-13 21:14:55

I'm going to echo so many people on this thread - Nelson Mandela was a hero to me. May he rest in peace.

He believed in everybody having the freedom to enjoy their lives. Freedom from oppression, freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom to live a happy life.

He also said there is still much to be done and there is.

The greatest way we can honour Madiba is to continue trying to change the world for the better. To make poverty a thing of the past. As the great man himself said: it always seems impossible until it is done.

ryan1987 Mon 09-Dec-13 05:06:45

bored of hearing this now.borrrrring, he was 95,not like paul walker who died so oung and actually starred in films and entertained people,all nelson did was get arrested sure he was a nice fella but my grandma died last year,didnt see her on the news for a week straight,inact she got a half inch message in black and white in 1 local paper and she was only in her 80's ,one you get to 95 you can hardly act like your lifes been cut short

ajandjjmum Mon 09-Dec-13 08:44:57

You're clearly an astute and intelligent human being Ryan!

Any death is sad, but that cannot undermine what Nelson Mandela achieved for millions of people in his lifetime, nor the sacrifices he made.

ryan, if your post weren't quite funny grin, it'd be rather sad.

I will be devastated when my gran dies too, but am under no illusion that she achieved changing the course of millions of lives.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Mon 09-Dec-13 08:49:55

"It always seems impossible until it is done"

Now there's an inspiring thought Bic thanks

2Tinsellytocare Mon 09-Dec-13 09:16:19

'Dont act like your lifes cut short' grin

AfricanExport Mon 09-Dec-13 09:35:43


That's simply not true. In apartheid South Africa that was simply not the case. It is in the Rainbow Nation but it was not like that when I grew up in the 70's and 80's.

I rode my bicycle to Guides which was through and around 30 minutes away. I walked to the 'jewstore' (sorry it's what it was called envy ), a store in the mines where I was a 9 or 10 year old white girl in a store who's clientele were Black miners. I was not scared. I had more freedom growing up in SA than my children do in London. The most security anyone I knew had was burglar bars. Our back door was never locked!

Today people live in compounds and behind electric fencing .

AfricanExport Mon 09-Dec-13 09:47:22


through farmlands and along lonely roads

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 10:10:08

AfricanExport, when I was there in the late 80s (very much apartheid South Africa), the fences were going up in the area I was. And the houses were already burglar-barred and alarmed. Leaving the house meant a huge locking up palaver, and the cars had to be kept well serviced so they wouldn't break down getting back from a night shift at the hospital.

But I was actually responding to the statement "Apartheid is alive and well in SA, but it is now the whites who live in compounds" - as if there has somehow been a switch between black and white people since 1994.

Which isn't true.

If that poster was talking about living in separate areas, that happened under - and was a plank of - apartheid.

And if she was talking about violence, several posters have pointed out that being attacked has never been the preserve of white people. Rather the opposite. And those who now live in electrified compounds are the (comparative) haves, not specifically the whites.

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 10:20:25

And if you'd grown up in London in the 1970s, you'd have had more freedom than your children do in London 2013. You wouldn't have locked your front door if you lived amid farmland in 1970s UK, either.

Things have changed everywhere since we were children. For some people, greatly for the better.

MaryShelley Mon 09-Dec-13 13:35:29

he never intended to kill anybody it was to distrupt things not kill anybody , the call he was a terrorist always irks me a little bit , but I guess at that time he was trying to free his country

How have you come to this conclusion? To my knowledge the MK was miliatant and was labelled as a terrorist organisation in countries other than just SA. Ultimately civilian deaths resulted from the 'freedom campaign'. You are happy that this is merely "disruption"?? ridiculous!

AfricanExport Mon 09-Dec-13 14:22:18

You said that it was so bad white people lived in compounds. That is not true. That all I'm saying. If you said everyone carried a gun .. that would be true. The majority of people now live in compounds or secure neighbourhoods. This is relatively new phenomenon and it only started in the run up to change. The first cluster home I ever visited was in 1992.

If you want to believe that a visit in the 80's makes you all knowing. .. Go ahead.

NM didn't finish the product he only started it. You can't blame him for every single crime that has happened since he was born. That's ridiculous.

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:07:10

I didn't say white people were living in compounds, but enclaves (the word used by other poster), which of course they were. Although IIRC one of the places I was staying was known as a cluster home in the 1980s.

That's just my experience. It doesn't mean it was yours. Big country, after all.

But it does mean that a portrayal of apartheid South Africa as all unlocked doors and cycling schoolgirls, and the end of apartheid as marking a dramatic change in this, would be false. The haves in some areas were ramping security up well before apartheid ended in 1994. And if you include bars on windows - a feature you don't see much in London - that process started a looong time before the end of apartheid.

In fact think I must have missed your point, AfricanExport, because it sounds faintly like, "Oh the golden years of apartheid, how awful the end of apartheid has made things."

But I'm sure that isn't actually what you're saying, and apologies that I'm obviously not quite understanding you.

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:19:24

I also don't know anyone who usually carried a gun or even owned one. But that doesn't make your experience untrue.

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:20:43

Sorry, I think this has diverted from the purpose of the thread.

Apologies, I won't say any more.

There was not realy 'purpose' of the thread other than to express my rather half-baked and only semi-understood emotions at the announcement of NM's death, so debate away.

A lot of totalitarian states have been very 'peaceful' and well organised - freedom is much more risky and scary.

Look at violence in the US, Land of the Free and all that jazz hmm, gun ownership, homicide rates, racial violence etc etc. It's of course not the same, but I think it would be disingenuous to expect some kind of pacifist, equal-opportunity Shangri-La in any country.
Personally, I'd happily visit the US (I have) and SA (I wish), but would not be happy living in either. But the same goes for many other countries on this planet.

On balance, I think that NM has done far, FAR more good than bad and is probably unequalled in prominence amongst public figures worldwide so I think dwelling a bit on his death is right.

ParcelFancy Mon 09-Dec-13 19:01:48

Ugh, and I can't even read thread properly - it was me who used enclaves, specifically not to discuss compounds.

I'm obviously gibbering today and not fit to discuss anything.

Salbertina Mon 09-Dec-13 19:12:55

Am sitting here with my dog, my armed response etc and agree, yes, Mandela did unbelievably more good than harm. I think 99% of the SA population would agree. Feeling v sad but also grateful that he was here.

wordsmithsforever Mon 09-Dec-13 20:09:02

Me too Salbertina - alarm on, locked up to the nth but so grateful - sad too but also glad he is no longer suffering as he was.

wordsmithsforever Mon 09-Dec-13 20:19:52

it would be disingenuous to expect some kind of pacifist, equal-opportunity Shangri-La in any country - so true. I think to understand South Africa and in fact the Mandela legacy itself you have to be able to tolerate complexity. It's not all black and white smile lots of shades of grey.

Susan643 Tue 10-Dec-13 04:19:33

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ajandjjmum Tue 10-Dec-13 04:44:20

Reported - glad my insomnia is good for something! grin

pmTea Tue 10-Dec-13 17:11:30

an impossibly hard act to follow...

pamela4586 Wed 11-Dec-13 03:30:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 07:20:38

I'm sure Madiba will be very pleased for her hmm

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 09:36:44

Have been watching the family arriving for the memorial service this morning. Touching to see his 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren arriving with their families, and other friends and wider family.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 10:18:13

Ah, arriving for the beginning of the lying in state today, before the funeral on Friday I believe - Memorial Service was yesterday in Johannesburg? (missed the News last night)

wordsmithsforever Wed 11-Dec-13 10:51:35

A group of friends of mine are off to the stadium today for the memorial service. The tickets are gone (they were free but went quickly) so we're not going unfortunately. The local council has opened up a condolence book here in my area so we're going to sign that instead. I can tell I'm going to have to draw on my British ancestry for a stiff upper lip!

Miserable cynic that I am, I'm always the first one to mutter when someone says they're "devastated" about the death of some famous person they've never met. I always think - well yes it's devastating for their children or family and close friends but not for you, you numpty!

But now I find myself with this huge lump in my throat every time I switch on the TV! I'm having to eat my words! Part of it is just the amazing atmosphere here in SA at the moment. In the shops they've got big screens up of all the proceedings and it's just lovely to see everyone, all colours of the rainbow, watching together and chatting. Lots of people just very moved by it all.

Mignonette Wed 11-Dec-13 11:03:13

Absolutely disgraceful and disrespectful behaviour by Cameron and Obama, seen taking selfies of themselves during a memorial service.


Ignorant and I don't care how long the service was or how bored they were.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 13:33:52

I don't think it was a biggie myself - but there's a whole thread about it for those who are interested

wordsmithsforever Wed 11-Dec-13 13:44:59

Have a look at this tribute by the Soweto Gospel Choir - flash mob style. Ex-South Africans living abroad: get the tissues ready - you have been warned!

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 13:55:45

That's wonderful wordsmith - a perfect tribute I'm sure he'd have loved

wordsmithsforever Wed 11-Dec-13 14:08:07

Same song with Madiba singing along - amazing - see

wordsmithsforever Wed 11-Dec-13 14:21:49

The lyrics Asimbonang' uMandela thina in English mean "We have not seen Mandela".

The song was written in 1986 during the state of emergency when NM was in prison of course. The lyrics then go on to list activists who died in detention - Steve Biko, Neil Agget, etc. All of whom were not seen anymore at that terrible time - and now of course the song has special poignancy because we will no longer see Madiba.

God, I'm finished - a snivelling wreck. I need to stop posting now and go and blow my nose very hard.

Full lyrics here for anyone who likes poetry - see

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Wed 11-Dec-13 14:27:02

Bless you wordsmith for what may be a lovely end to a great thread

ExcuseTypos Wed 11-Dec-13 17:30:26

Thank you Wordsmith.

I'm always stuck by Mandela's smile. Such a big smile.

PacifistDingDong Wed 11-Dec-13 18:16:35

Heavens above, wordsmith, the link to that flashmob had me sobbing at my desk at work - and I am not SA.

Lovely, just lovely, thank you for linking and sharing smile.

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