News / Africa

World Leaders Remember Nelson Mandela

The World Mourns President Mandelai
December 06, 2013 8:45 AM
South Africans and people around the world have been paying tribute to the late former South African president Nelson Mandela.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has called the widow of Nelson Mandela to express his condolences.  

President Obama spoke with Graca Machel Friday to tell her of the profound influence Mandela had on his life.  

He also thanked Machel for the joy she brought to her late husband's life and the commitment to a peaceful, fair and loving world that she and President Mandela shared.  

Earlier at the White House, a solemn President Obama called Mandela an influential, courageous, and profoundly good human being.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the death of Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2013.President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the death of Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2013.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the death of Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2013.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the death of Nelson Mandela in the briefing room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2013.
"I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue, or a policy, or politics, was a protest against apartheid," said Obama. "I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they're guided by their hopes and not by their fears."

Obama said flags at the White House and other public buildings will fly at half staff through Monday, in a rare gesture toward a foreign leader.

FILE - Former South African president FW de Klerk.FILE - Former South African president FW de Klerk.
FILE - Former South African president FW de Klerk.
FILE - Former South African president FW de Klerk.
F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last apartheid leader, said Mandela's greatest legacy is his emphasis on reconciliation. De Klerk won a Nobel Peace Prize alongside Mandela, whom he freed from prison in 1990. He said their relationship was "often stormy," but that they were "always able to come together at critical moments."
 Many African leaders, who were in Paris for a security summit Friday, vowed to live up to the example Mandela set.

South African Archbishop and anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu called his friend a "precious diamond" who emerged from prison "virtually flawless." Tutu said instead of "calling for his pound of flesh, he proclaimed the message of forgiveness and reconciliation."
FILE - Kofi AnnanFILE - Kofi Annan
FILE - Kofi Annan
FILE - Kofi Annan
Ex-U.N. chief Kofi Annan, who along with Tutu and Mandela formed a group of statesmen known as The Elders, said South Africa was fortunate to have a leader that inspired forgiveness so that the country "did not go up in flames."

Fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi paid tribute to Mandela as a "great human being who raised the standard of humanity."

"He made us all understand that nobody should be penalized for the color of his skin, for the circumstances into which he is born. He also made us understand that we can change the world. We can change the world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions," Suu Kyi said.
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai LamaFILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama, another Nobel Peace laureate, said he will "personally miss a dear friend" he had hoped to meet again. He said that although Mandela has physically departed, his "spirit will go on."

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Signh called Mandela "a giant among men," and compared him to India's own icon of freedom and reconciliation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on people to be inspired by  Mandela to keep working for a better and more just world. "Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us - if we believe, dream and work together for justice and humanity. His moral force was decisive in dismantling the system of apartheid," said Ban.

FILE - Former President Bill ClintonFILE - Former President Bill Clinton
FILE - Former President Bill Clinton
FILE - Former President Bill Clinton
Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush also praised Mandela as a champion of freedom, human dignity, and equality.

Another ex-U.S. president, George H. W. Bush, called Mandela, "a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country."

British Prime Minister David Cameron emerged from 10 Downing Street to call Mandela a true global hero, saying a great light has gone out in the world.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him a man of vision who rejected violence and was one of "the most honorable figures of our time."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, hailed Mandela as a "symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation," calling his death "a great loss."
China's President Xi JinpingChina's President Xi Jinping
China's President Xi Jinping
China's President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed "deep grief" at the death of what he called a "world-renowned statesman." He said Mandela, who visited China twice, will always be remembered for his contributions to China-South African ties "and the cause of human progress."
Haitian President Michel Martelly said Mandela remains a "symbol of democracy" whose courage and "faith in the true struggle for equality" continue to guide mankind.

Pope Francis also expressed condolences, and said he prays that Mandela's example will inspire generations of South Africans.

Interactive Timeline: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Jose M Lopez Sierra from: Puerto Rico
December 07, 2013 7:40 PM
Greeting Partners,

President Obama should also reflect on Oscar López Rivera, who is also doing for Puerto Rico what Nelson Mandela did for South Africa.


by: Mrs. Kay Berry from: USA
December 07, 2013 12:06 PM
And never mind the FACT that he was co-founder of a terrorist organization that killed scores of people. Just never mind that.

by: Dr. Friar from: San Diego,CA
December 07, 2013 11:24 AM
There is absolutely no comparison between George Washington and Nelson Mandela.

George Washington was a Founding Father. He presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution and warned the nation against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars.

Nelson Mandela was… well, a communist and a terrorist.

Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party. He co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, a terrorist organization that killed civilians, including children. Fast food outlets and supermarkets were favored targets. In addition to terrorist bombings, the military wing of the African National Congress tortured and executed suspected government agents.

Post-apartheid South Africa is ruled by the ANC and the South African Communist Party. The ruling ANC defines itself as a “disciplined force of the left.”

Listening to Obama, however, you wouldn’t know that Nelson Mandela is a former communist and terrorist. He has compared the man to George Washington.

“Mandela shows what was possible when a priority is placed on human dignity, respect for law, that all people are treated equally,” Obama said on a trip to South Africa.

“And what Nelson Mandela also stood for is that the well-being of the country is more important than the interests of any one person,” Obama continued. “George Washington is admired because after two terms he said enough, I’m going back to being a citizen. There were no term limits, but he said I’m a citizen. I served my time. And it’s time for the next person, because that’s what democracy is about. And Mandela similarly was able to recognize that, despite how revered he was, that part of this transition process was greater than one person.”

Obama does what he is told. He reads from a script. It doesn’t matter if he personally prefers communism or the brand of socialism so-called conservatives accuse him of subscribing to. Obama’s political opinions are irrelevant.

Obama’s globalist handlers like socialism – a kinder and gentler word for communism – because it is an effective tool for controlling the masses. Globalist kingpin David Rockefeller said as much when he praised Mao and Chinese communism, a political machine responsible for killing more humans than both Hitler and Stalin.

“Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded, not only in producing a more efficient and dedicated administration but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose,” Rockefeller said on the pages of the New York Times in 1973. “The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”

Rockefeller was also fond of the Soviets and their thugocracy established by Wall Street. “My congratulations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution,” he told the Kremlin in 1977.

Solzhenitsyn and others put the death toll in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1987 at over 60 million.

Naturally, ABC and the rest of the Mockingbird corporatized media including VOA, didn’t bother to mention Mandela’s terrorist and communist past. It did not mention the ANC’s habit of necklacing its enemies back in the day, a practice enthusiastically endorsed by Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie Mandela.

Necklacing was the practice of putting a tire filled with gasoline around the neck of accused collaborators and enemies of the ANC. After ignited, it often took more than 20 minutes for the necklace to kill its victim.

However some will miss this mans covered over past, and fly their flags at half mast. Very Ironic.

by: Tsam from: nigeria
December 07, 2013 6:34 AM
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace the hero of south african

by: Muriel from: Rouse
December 06, 2013 1:09 PM
Nelson Mandela is a great man. Everyone should walk by his example. Yesterday are Lord welcomed home a one of a kind son. <><*

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs