Nelson Mandela Passes On

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa’s first democratically elected president and a symbol of reconciliation to many around the world, well known as Madiba has died.

The country’s president Jacob Zuma said tonight the ‘Father of the Nation’ of South Africa passed away aged 95.

As South Africa’s first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner No. 46664 paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness. 

He lunched with the prosecutor who sent him to jail, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration, and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was imprisoned.

His most memorable gesture came when he strode onto the field before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg. When he came on the field in South African colors to congratulate the victorious South African team, he brought the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 to its feet, chanting ‘Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!’

His imprisonment included 18 years on the notorious Robben Island penal colony, when he and other prisoners were forced to work in a limestone quarry and he first suffered the lung infections that were to dog him for years.

RIP Nelson Mandela 18 July 1918 — 5 December 2013

Its a wonderful age to say Good Bye. May his soul be in Heavenly Peace.

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