[www.inewsguyana.com] – As the world bids farewell to Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the former South African Leader who passed away on December 4, at the age of 95.
Acting President Samuel Hinds underscored that the most significant message that the late icon brought to the fore was that reconciliation was possible despite challenges.
At a Night of Reflection at the Umana Yana to honour Mandela’s life and legacy, hosted by the governing People’s Progressive Party, the Prime Minister said with Mandela’s message, “reconciliation is possible even with the most horrible history behind us. So we need to find reconciliation and not be moved to continue fighting each other,” he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed hope that in Mandela’s death and the recognition being given to him that further changes would be made for the improvement of blacks and South Africans as a whole.
Mandela who emerged from 27 years of imprisonment to become South Africa’s first black President, is known worldwide for his compassionate, but yet determined efforts at dismantling the country’s legacy of apartheid. Drumming, dances and a pictorial exhibition formed part of the night’s event.
Born in 1918 in the village of Mveso in Transkei, South Africa, Mandela died following complications from a recurring lung infection.
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was a beloved figure around the world, a symbol of reconciliation from a country with a brutal history of racism. He was released from prison in 1990 after nearly 30 years for plotting to overthrow South Africa’s apartheid government.
In 1994, in a historic election, he became the nation’s first black president of South Africa, where he brought about a peaceful transition from the white-dominated government to a multi-racial democracy. He worked with South African President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid, for which the two leaders share the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Mandela, who was Leader of the African National Congress (ANC) stepped down in 1999 after a single term and retired from political and public life.
The former freedom fighter was highly loved and respected the world over and his memory will forever be cherished.