Published : 2013-12-06 09:52
Updated : 2013-12-06 17:59
“Good men and women, men such as Mandela resisted and taught us to resist fear ... to resist oblivion,” she said.
The Security Council said in a statement later that “Mandela will forever be remembered as someone who gave up so much of his life in the struggle for freedom, so that millions could have a brighter future.”
The U.N. General Assembly in 2009 adopted a resolution declaring Nelson Mandela International Day, the first ever international day in honor of an individual. It is celebrated every year on July 18, his birthday.
“The members of the Security Council consider this to be a reflection of the magnitude of Nelson Mandela's contribution to freedom and justice,” the council said. “Nelson Mandela day is a celebration of the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact, just as Nelson Mandela did himself.” (AP)
Park offers condolences over death of Mandela
South Korean President Park Geun-hye offered condolences Friday over the death of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, calling him a "great statesman"
who put a peaceful end to apartheid.
Mandela, the icon of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, died at his Johannesburg home on Thursday, at the age of 95. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate served a single term as his country's first black president from 1994-1999 after spending 27 years in prison for his role in the fight against white minority rule.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the family and people of the Republic of South Africa on the passing away of former President Nelson Mandela," Park said in a statement. "He was a great statesman who peacefully ended the apartheid that divided South Africa for a long time."
Mandela's "great cause" will become the basis for world peace and remain in the hearts of both South Africans and the people of the world, she added.
South Korea's ruling and opposition parties expressed in unison their respect for the late leader.
"A great star of mankind who symbolized democracy and a peaceful campaign for human rights has fallen," Rep. Choi Kyoung-hwan, the floor leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, said at a party meeting. "His step-by-step resolution of inter-ethnic and inter-racial conflicts through non-violent means, compromise and conciliation causes us to think hard as we struggle to take a single step forward amid intra-racial and inter-party confrontation and division."
Choi also expressed hope that Mandela's "great cause" will remain as a "light" to mankind.
Kim Han-gil, the chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, also extended his condolences.
"Mandela's ideal of a democratic and free society where people live harmoniously with equal opportunities will remain in our hearts for a long time," he said at a Supreme Council meeting. (Yonhap News)
Obama mourns death of icon Nelson Mandela
Counting himself among the millions influenced by Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of the anti-apartheid icon with whom he shares the distinction of being his nation's first black president.
“He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages,” Obama said in a somber appearance at the White House.
“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life,” he continued. “And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set.”
Mandela died earlier Thursday at 95. He had spent much of the year in and out of the hospital, and his illness prevented a meeting with Obama when the U.S. president visited South Africa this summer.
Still, the former South African president's legacy influenced nearly every aspect of Obama's trip. Obama, along with wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, made an emotional visit to Robben Island, standing quietly together in the tiny cell where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. Obama also met privately with members of Mandela's family.
The president is likely to travel to South Africa for Mandela's funeral, though a trip has not yet been announced. Other former U.S. presidents and dignitaries are also likely to attend.
Obama's political rise has drawn inevitable comparisons to the South African leader. Both are Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the first black men elected to lead their countries.
However, the two men met in person only once, a hastily arranged meeting in a Washington hotel room in 2005 when Obama was a U.S. senator. A photo of the meeting hangs in Obama's personal office at the White House, showing a smiling Mandela sitting on a chair, his legs outstretched, as the young senator reaches down to shake his hand. A copy of the photo also hung in Mandela's office in Johannesburg.
The two presidents did speak occasionally on the phone, including after the 2008 election, when Mandela called Obama to congratulate him on his victory. The U.S. president called Mandela in 2010 after the South African leader's young granddaughter was killed in a car accident. Obama also wrote the introduction to Mandela's memoir, “Conversations With Myself.”
Mandela had already shaped Obama's political beliefs well before their first encounter. As a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Obama joined protests against the school's investments during South Africa's apartheid era. In 1981, Obama focused his first public political speech on the topic.
“It's happening an ocean away,” Obama said, according to a retelling of the story in his memoir “Dreams From My Father.” `'But it's a struggle that touches each and every one of us. Whether we know it or not. Whether we want it or not.” (AP)
Sporting tributes for Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela's death has left world football in deep mourning, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Thursday, while new IOC head Thomas Bach paid tribute to the dearly loved anti-apartheid icon as a man who understood the unifying power of sport like few others.
Mandela died earlier Thursday at the age of 95.
Blatter said in a statement that “Nelson Mandela will stay in our hearts forever,” and ordered that the 209 flags of the world football body's member countries at FIFA headquarters in Switzerland be lowered and flown at half-mast.
“It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,” Blatter said. “The memories of his remarkable fight against oppression, his incredible charisma and his positive values will live on in us and with us.”
International Olympic Committee President Bach said Mandela was “a true statesman.”
“A remarkable man who understood that sport could build bridges, break down walls, and reveal our common humanity,” Bach said.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest political leaders of any era, the reaction from many of the world's biggest sporting organizations were clear testimony to the enormous affinity Mandela had for sport -- and to sport's great love for the Nobel Prize winner.
Boxing great Muhammad Ali, an inspirational figure himself, said Mandela inspired others to “reach for what appeared to be impossible.”
“What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge,” Ali said in his statement released by the Ali Center. “He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale.”
More a follower of boxing and running in his youth, Mandela became a famous fan of nearly every sport -- including many the South African wouldn't have been too familiar with.
“Nelson Mandela was one of the most powerful and inspirational leaders in the world and a great friend of the NBA,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “Our thoughts and hopes are with the Mandela family and the people of South Africa, and while we mourn his passing, we know that his legacy and quest for equality will endure.”
Mandela's appearance at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in a green and gold South African team jersey to unite his previously fractured country is considered one of world sport's defining moments, and a part of South African legend.
International Rugby Board President Bernard Lapasset, who spent time with Mandela during the tournament, said the former president changed the sport -- once a symbol of white apartheid -- completely in his country by his actions during that event.
“I was honored to be with him during the historic days of Rugby World Cup 1995 and saw his incredible impact on his nation and his people,” Lapasset said. “His wisdom, intelligence and sheer presence was a wonder to behold.”
The South African Rugby Union, perhaps the sporting body closest to Mandela after his famous gesture at a rugby game nearly two decades ago, said it shared in South Africa's overwhelming sadness at Mandela's passing.
“It was our privilege to have lived in this country during his lifetime,” SARU President Oregan Hoskins said.
Toward the end of his life, Mandela was still instrumental in helping South Africa win its bid to host the 2010 football World Cup -- after an initial failure in trying to land the 2006 tournament. It was fitting, then, that his last public appearance came at a day of sporting celebration, when he greeted the crowds ahead of the World Cup final on the outskirts of Soweto to mark the historic first football showcase in Africa.
“When he was honoured and cheered by the crowd at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium on 11 July 2010, it was as a man of the people, a man of their hearts, and it was one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced,” Blatter said. “For him, the World Cup in South Africa truly was “a dream come true”. (AP)
Celebrities pay tribute to Nelson Mandela
Celebrity reactions Thursday to the death of Nelson Mandela:
“What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.” -- Idris Elba, who has the title role in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
“Mandela was one of the great leaders and teachers of the twentieth century. He conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice and the power of forgiveness. His passing should re-ignite a worldwide effort for peace.” -- Paul Simon, whose widely acclaimed but also criticized Graceland tour of South Africa during the 1980s' artists boycott protesting apartheid was personally approved by Mandela.
Today, as it did while he inhabited our planet, Nelson Mandela's spirit truly soars with the angels. It was a spirit born of a generosity, love, compassion and hope for mankind that may never exist at such a heightened level in any single human being again. One of the most profound honors that I have had in my life was to be able to call `Madiba' my friend and brother.” -- Musician Quincy Jones.
“We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy. It's been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism.” -- Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company released “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
“I am so happy that Nelson Mandela is at last truly free. I will wave to him as he transforms into everything around me and on into the cosmos. What a race to run, Life gave him. That he made it in so much beauty tells us who we are, and who we can be.” -- Author Alice Walker.
“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve -- a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.” -- Morgan Freeman, who starred as Mandela in “Invictus.”
“Portraying Nelson Mandela, in the film `Goodbye Bafana' was a defining moment in my life and my career. We as a society, have been blessed to live in a time that Nelson Mandela has lived, loved, and led. What he has done for his country, his countrymen, and everyone on this planet may not be achieved again. ever. I will always honor him as a saint.” -- Actor Dennis Haysbert. (AP)