The world mourns the man who fought against apartheid, against racism, oppression and violence, and set free black South Africans from the white ruling. On the 5th of December, 2013 Nelson Mandela died. A freedom fighter, prisoner and leader of a nation that is reconciled today thanks into a man who will live even longer in our memories.
Even after 27 years spent in jail his goal was still clear, his mind still firm on one objective and his soul still dedicated to one value: freedom. The decades in prison did not delete the determination and the courage nor blur his thoughts with revenge. He still stepped out with that dream in his head, the dream of reconciliation.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison” Mandela’s words after he was set free in 1990.
As he walked as a free citizen again in his own country, he was appointed President of the African National Congress and ran for national elections against De Klerk, who was the then nominated vice-President, when Mandela won the first democratic elections both for white and black South Africans in 1994. Mandela gained national and international respect for his constant support to reach reconciliation.
At the news of his passing, South Africans marched on the streets honoring Madiba, honoring Tata (the word for “father” in his Xhosa tribe), and will continue to mourn their father for one week as will several African countries for three days. Flags around the world fly half-staff in tribute to Mandela and of what he represented and will continue to represent for centuries on.
“A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come.” (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India)
“Nelson Mandela is physically separated from us, but his soul and spirit will never die,” Malala Yousafzai said, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban and now campaigns for girls’ right to education.
“He transformed hate into love, putting his country and people back together,” Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara told French TV.
“Nelson Mandela is an example. An example of resistance in the face of oppression. An example of freedom in the face of injustice. An example of dignity in the face of humiliation. … An example of forgiveness in the face of hatred,” French President Francois Hollande said as he opened the summit in Paris, devoted to bringing peace to Africa.
“Africa should continue to produce more Mandelas who think more about the people than personal power; for whom the people’s welfare is more important than the selfish pursuit of personal power and glory,” said opposition leader of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai, while the President Mugabe recently criticized Mandela for being too conciliatory to whites.
“Nelson Mandela was convinced that it is not hatred and revenge that make the world better, but reconciliation and political change — and that is how he lived,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “That is why he is a giant of history, a statesman with a message that is valid in every country and at every time.”
However, not everyone gave landmark speeches for the death of the African leader and I am not proud to say that one of them was Italian. A district counselor for the Northern League in Verona, Francesco Vartolo, posted on Facebook:
“Finalmente il terrorista Mandela, belva assetata di sangue bianco trasformato in eroe dalla propaganda mondialista, si troverà di fronte a tutta la gente che ha fatto ammazzare. Con le bombe nelle chiese o con i copertoni incendiati intorno al collo”.
(Finally the terrorist Mandela, thirsty beast for white blood turned into hero through global propaganda, will find himself in front of all those people who died because of him. With bombs in churches or with blazing tires around his neck”.
Flavio Tosi, Secretary of the party, immediately claimed the expulsion of the counselor due to his outrageous comment on the death of Nelson Mandela. This is not the thought of the party in regards to the leader.
Lets put a veil on this statement though and lets remember Madiba as worldwide leaders do, as a symbol of hope and freedom.