• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Nelson Mandela: A Symbol of Compassion and Equality

    Bandphoto / Uppa.co.uk/UPPA/Photoshot/Newscom

    Bandphoto / Uppa.co.uk/UPPA/Photoshot/Newscom

    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the first democratic president of post-apartheid South Africa, has passed away at his home in Johannesburg after months of battling a recurring lung infection. Current South African President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation this evening announcing Mandela’s death and honoring his legacy, by stating, “Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time.” Mandela was 95 years old.

    Mandela was revered as the symbol of the struggle against apartheid following his sentence to life imprisonment on Robben Island. He was released in 1990 at the age of 71. Following his release from prison, he negotiated and led the peaceful transition from white-minority apartheid rule to a free and open democratic system in South Africa.

    Mandela, the leader of the African National Congress, won a resounding victory in the post-apartheid democratic elections in 1994. As president, Mandela worked tirelessly to unify a deeply racially divided society, choosing reconciliation over vengeance. Mandela led by example to establish racial unity with what South Africans refer to as the “Rainbow Nation.”

    Even years after Mandela’s departure from public life, his legacy remains emblematic of transcending racial division. He served as an inspirational leader to many, but also as a role model for nascent nations around the world transitioning to democracy. He served only one presidential term, from 1994-1999, setting an example for liberation leaders across the continent to give life to new leadership and make the way for future democratic leaders.

    Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with former apartheid President F.W. De Klerk for the “peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”

    While the apartheid regime was the symbol of racism and oppression, Mandela was the symbol of compassion and equality. The world has truly lost a transformative leader. Our hearts are with South Africans today.

    Posted in Featured, Front Page, International [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×