Nasrec, South Africa: Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela Memorial Service.
Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandelapassed away in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
Nelson Mandela was known as an activist who spent 27 years in prison before becoming South African’s first black president.
Nelson Mandela was born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on Thursday, July 18th, 1918, the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, a Xhosa homeland that later became one of the “Bantustans” set up as independent republics by the apartheid regime to cement the separation of whites and blacks.
Nelson Mandela‘s royal upbringing gave him a regal bearing that became his hallmark. Many South Africans of all races would later call him by his clan name, Madiba, as a token of affection and respect.
Growing up at a time when virtually all of Africa was under European colonial rule, Mandela attended Methodist schools before being admitted to the black University of Fort Hare in 1938. He was expelled two years later for his role in a student strike.
Nelson Mandela moved to Johannesburg, South Africa and worked as a policeman at a gold mine, boxed as an amateur heavyweight and studied law.
His first wife, nurse Evelyn Mase, bore him four children. A daughter died in infancy, a son was killed in a car crash in 1970 and another son died of AIDS in 2005. The couple divorced in 1957 and Evelyn died in 2004.
Nelson Mandela began his rise through the anti-apartheid movement in 1944, when he helped form the ANC Youth League.
He organized a campaign in 1952 to encourage defiance of laws that segregated schools, marriage, housing and job opportunities. The government retaliated by barring him from attending gatherings and leaving Johannesburg, the first of many “banning” orders he was to endure.
After a 2 day nationwide strike was crushed by police, he and a small group of African National Congress (A.N.C.) colleagues decided on military action and Mandela pushed to form the movement’s guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation.
Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ hard labor for leaving the country illegally and inciting blacks to strike.
A year later, police uncovered the African National Congress’ (A.N.C.) underground headquarters on a farm near Johannesburg and seized documents outlining plans for a guerrilla campaign. At a time when African colonies were one by one becoming independent states, Mandela and seven co-defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
The African National Congress’ (A.N.C.) armed wing was later involved in a series of high-profile bombings that killed civilians, and many in the white minority viewed the imprisoned Mandela as a terrorist. The apartheid government, meanwhile, was denounced globally for its campaign of beatings, assassinations and other violent attacks on opponents. Even in numbing confinement, Mandela sought to flourish.
Nelson Mandela turned down conditional offers of freedom during his decades in prison. In 1989, P.W. Botha, South Africa’s hard-line president, was replaced by de Klerk, who recognized apartheid’s end was near. Mandela continued, even in his last weeks in prison, to advocate nationalizing banks, mines and monopoly industries – a stance that frightened the white business community.
But talks were already underway, with Mandela being spirited out of prison to meet white government leaders. After his release, he took charge of the African National Congress’ (A.N.C.), and was elected president in a landslide in South Africa’s first all-race election.
Perceived successes during Nelson Mandela‘s tenure include the introduction of a constitution with robust protections for individual rights, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he established with his fellow Nobelist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It allowed human rights offenders of all races to admit their crimes publicly in return for lenient treatment. Though not regarded as wholly successful, it proved to be a kind of national therapy that would become a model for other countries emerging from prolonged strife.
In the buildup to the Iraq War, Nelson Mandela harshly rebuked United States President George W. Bush. “Why is the United States behaving so arrogantly?” he asked in a speech. “All that (Bush) wants is Iraqi oil.” He suggested Bush and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair were racists, and claimed America, “which has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world,” had no moral standing.
Until United States President George W. Bush repealed the order in 2008, Nelson Mandela could not visit the United States without the secretary of state certifying that he was not a terrorist.
To critics of his closeness to Fidel Castro and Moammar Gadhafi despite human rights violations in the countries they ruled, Nelson Mandela explained that he wouldn’t forsake supporters of the anti-apartheid struggle.
To the disappointment of many South Africans, Nelson Mandela increasingly left the governing to Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, who won the next presidential election and took over when Mandela’s term ended in 1999.
His marriage to Winnie had fallen apart after his release and he married Graca Machel, the widowed, former first lady of neighboring Mozambique.
With apartheid vanquished, Nelson Mandela turned to peacemaking efforts in other parts of Africa and the world and eventually to fighting AIDS, publicly acknowledging that his own son, Makgatho, had died of the disease.
Nelson Mandela‘s final years were marked by frequent hospitalizations as he struggled with respiratory problems that had bothered him since he contracted tuberculosis in prison.
Nelson Mandela stayed in his rural home in Qunu in Eastern Cape province, where then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, visited him in 2012, but then moved full-time to his home in Johannesburg, South African so he could be close to medical care in Pretoria, the capital.
Nelson Mandela is survived by Machel, his daughter Makaziwe by his first marriage, and daughters Zindzi and Zenani by his second.
** You can read more about the life of Nelson Mandela at the following Nelson Mandela Foundation website addresses: **
South African President Jacob Zuma announced Nelson Mandela’s death at a news conference on last Thursday saying, “We’ve lost our greatest son.”
Last Thursday, South African President Jacob Zuma announced Nelson Mandela’s death.
“When I say we pray for the nation, (it) is that we should pray for us not to forget some of the values that Madiba stood for, that he fought for, that he sacrificed his life for,” said South African President Jacob Zuma.
“He stood for freedom. He fought against those who oppressed others. He wanted everyone to be free.” In a suburb of Pretoria, parishioners said they were grateful for the man who saved them from revenge.
During a news conference last Thursday afternoon, United States President Barack Obama said, “He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages. God bless his memory and keep him in peace.”
In 2005, United States President Barack Obama met Nelson Mandela when he was a United States Senator.
A Memorial Service for the Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela will be held at First National Bank Stadium (F.N.B. Stadium) starting at 11:00am Local Time on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 in Nasrec, South Africa which is just southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. Gates to the stadium for the public will open at 6:00am Local Time.
The President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma will address the official memorial service for Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Over 50 presidents, 15 prime ministers, and nine royals including kings, princes, and queens are expected attend the memorial service on Tuesday.
Those attending the memorial service includes United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Former United States President George W. Bush andFormer First Lady Laura Bush, Former United States President Presidents Bill Clinton and Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, Former United States President Jimmy Carter, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, United Kingdom Prince Charles, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, France President Francois Hollande, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Belgium King Philippe, Cuba President Raul Castro Ruz, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, Saudi Arabia Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Spain Prince Felipe de Borbon, Sweden Princess Victoria, Denmark Prince Federick, Jordan Queen Rania al Abdullah, Jordan Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, and Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri.
Defense Minister Nosivewe Mapisa-Nqakula is reportedly overseeing security and says that over 11,000 troops have been deployed and a coordinated plan involving the military, the air force, and police across the country is in place to control and protect the many of people paying their respects to Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela. Roads leading to the stadium are reportedly closed for several miles with many of people taking public transportation or walking to the stadium. There will also be some No Fly Zones over the stadium. Many other security measures are planned, but are not being reported for safety and security reasons.
Hundreds of thousands of South Africans as well as many of people from around the globe are also expected to attend the memorial service for Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday and millions are planning to watch the memorial service on Tuesday on television and over the internet. Viewers in the Untied States can watch the memorial service on Tuesday at around 4:00am ET or 1:00am PT on several news outlets in the United States.
**** Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela Memorial Service Official Program: ****
**** More information regarding the memorial service for Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela is at the following Mandela.Gov.ZA website address: ****
** Several news outlets will be live news covering of the Activist and Former South African President Nelson Mandela Memorial Service at the following website addresses: **
– ABC News Australia:
– ABC News:
– BBC News:
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– CNN News:
– CTV News Canada:
– Fox News:
– France 24:
– MSNBCand NBC News:
– News 24:
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– SABC News on YouTube:
– Sky News:
**** Some website addresses are subject to change without notice and more website addresses will be added as soon as they come in. ****
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