Remembering Nelson Mandela

After decades confined to a cold prison cell, Nelson Mandela emerged from captivity to become one of the most transformative figures of the 20th Century. Here are a few of the remembrances offered in the immediate aftermath of his death.

Former British Ambassador Charles Crawford reflects on the qualities that distinguished Nelson Mandela as a transformative figure with global impact.

“Mandela in prison managed to avoid being associated with that madness and on his release worked in a spirit of steely magnanimity with F W De Klerk to preside over the change to a more or less democratic order based on simple one-person-one-vote fairness. Given what had happened in South Africa and the wider region over the previous decades, this was an unambiguously huge political and moral achievement. The world is right to praise it and the man who symbolised it.

“Mandela succeeded because on certain core beliefs he would not compromise. He was no less inflexible in his loyalty to the ANC/SACP alliance and to people he saw as key supporters of its cause,” he writes.

Commentary contributor Max Boot also examines the character that made Mandela a historical figure and not simply a figure in history.

“His example should dispel any illusions, so popular in the historical profession, that history is made by impersonal forces. Mandela’s example is a ringing endorsement of what is derisively known as the “great man school of history”–the notion that influential individuals make a huge difference in how events turn out. He certainly made a difference, and for the better. He will go down as one of the giants of the second half of the twentieth century along with Reagan, Thatcher, Deng Xiaoping, Lech Walesa, and Pope John Paul II.”

South Africa’s 1995 Rugby Team Remembers Mandela
Mandela called on South Africa to come together to support the 1995 National Rugby team, a gesture which was crucial to the process of reconciliation.

Time Magazine: Remembering An Icon
Correspondent Richard Stengel remembers the man who shaped history.

Nelson Mandela’s Speech Following His Release From Prison
The video of Mandela’s remarks immediately following his release.




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