Newscast Media JOHANNESBURG—The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced the
death of the international icon who after a long illness has passed away. On its Web
site, the message read in part:
It is with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson
Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa will shortly
make further official announcements.
We want to express our sadness at this time. No words can adequately describe this
enormous loss to our nation and to the world.
We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian
causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for
our freedom. The three charitable organisations that he created dedicate ourselves to
continue promoting his extraordinary legacy.
The renowned freedom fighter was jailed for over a quarter of a century by the
apartheid government, and after he was released in 1990, he became South Africa’s
first Black president in 1994.
In 1985, Mandela turned down the government’s offer to free him if he renounced
armed struggle against apartheid. It wasn’t until South African President P.W. Botha
had a stroke and was replaced by F.W. de Klerk in 1989 that the stage was set for
His life was a triumph over racial oppression. The statesman died at age 95 from a
recurring lung infection and will receive a state funeral.
Newscast Media PRETORIA—Global celebrations and charity events will mark Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday as the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon is in Pretoria hospital. Volunteers will spend 67 minutes on hundreds of community upliftment projects—a minute for every year of his activism. Mandela was born in the month of July 18, 1918.
“I will also be giving my 67 minutes to make the world a better place, one small step at a time,” AFP quoted British business magnate Richard Branson as saying.
The 94-year-old African hero was transferred to a hospital in Pretoria city in the northern province of Gauteng on June 8 as his lung infection deteriorated. Mandela has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner.
On Thursday, children in schools around South Africa will start their classes singing “Happy Birthday” to the former statesman.
The Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge will be inaugurated at the icon’s birth village, Mvezo, in the rural Eastern Cape Province on Thursday. A science-specialization high school bearing his name is also scheduled to be opened.
Meanwhile in the United States, various activities are planned in 17 cities on Thursday.
The anti-apartheid hero suffered from respiratory disease during 27 years in prison. He was released in 1990 and then he made peacemaking efforts in the country. He was elected as president in 1994.
The former South African president has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. In recent years, Mandela’s health problems have worried his supporters.
Source: Press TV