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Nelson Mandela dead at 95

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View images of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, who went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa’s first black president.

Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.

“He is now resting,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. “He is now at peace.”

“Our nation has lost his greatest son,” he continued. “Our people have lost their father.”

A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with “the dignity and respect” that Mandela personified.

“Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another,” he said as tributes began pouring in from across the world.

Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.

He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.

South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.

Feb. 1990: NBC’s Robin Lloyd reports on Nelson Mandela on the eve of his release from prison in 1990. Mandela’s name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid, but no one but prison guards and visitors have actually seen him since he was jailed 27 years ago.

In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he wrote in “Long Walk to Freedom.”

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Mandela retired from public life in 2004 with the half-joking directive, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” and had largely stepped out of the spotlight, spending much of his time with family in his childhood village.

His health had been fragile in recent years. He had spent almost three months in a hospital in Pretoria after being admitted in June for a recurring lung infection. He was released on Sept. 1.

In his later years, Mandela was known to his countrymen simply as Madiba, the name of his tribe and a mark of great honor. But when he was born on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla, which translated roughly – and prophetically – to “troublemaker.”

Mandela was nine when his father died, and he was sent from his rural village to the provincial capital to be raised by a fellow chief. The first member of his family to get a formal education, he went to boarding school and then enrolled in South Africa’s elite Fort Hare University, where his activism unfurled with a student boycott.

As a young law scholar, he joined the resurgent African National Congress just a few years before the National Party – controlled by the Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch and French settlers – came to power on a platform of apartheid, in which the government enforced racial segregation and stripped non-whites of economic and political power.

As an ANC leader, Mandela advocated peaceful resistance against government discrimination and oppression – until 1961, when he launched a military wing called Spear of the Nation and a campaign of sabotage.

April, 1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is on the verge of being elected South Africa’s first black president.

The next year, he was arrested and soon hit with treason charges. At the opening of his trial in 1964, he said his adoption of armed struggle was a last resort born of bloody crackdowns by the government.

“Fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation and fewer and few rights,” he said from the dock.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

The New York Times The New York Times

Published on Dec 5, 2013

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Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, died at 95.

Read the story: http://nyti.ms/1jrjEyE

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An ambulance transporting former South African president Nelson Mandela arrives at the home of the former statesman in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 1, 2013.An ambulance transporting former South African president Nelson Mandela arrives at the home of the former statesman in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 1, 2013.
Thuso Khumalo

A spokesman for South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that Mandela left the hospital Sunday morning.  Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says the anti-apartheid icon is now recovering at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. Mandela had been hospitalized since June 8.

Maharaj referred to Mandela using his clan name, Madiba.

We would like to wish him all the best as he continues his recovery at his Johannesburg home. Madiba’s condition remains critical and is at times unstable,” said Maharaj. “Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria.

Maharaj went further to dispel fears that South Africa’s first black president will not receive adequate medical care at his home.

His home has been reconfigured to allow him to receive intensive care there,” said Maharaj. “The health care personnel providing care at his home are the very same who provided care to him in hospital. If there are health conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in future, this will be done.

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Mandela ‘much better’, says President Zuma

ANC SUPPORTERS GATHER TO SING
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© FRANCE 24/ Charlotte Boitiaux

  Earlier, Mandela’s granddaughter told reporters that he was in a “very critical but stable” condition.

By Catherine NORRIS TRENT reporting from Pretoria (video)
FRANCE 24

Nelson Mandela’s health has improved overnight though the anti-apartheid hero remains in a critical condition, the office of South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday.

“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job,” Zuma said in a statement.

He added that although Mandela’s condition remains critical, it is now “stable”,

The President’s comments come after Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told reporters earlier on Thursday that the former South African president is in a “very critical but stable” condition. “Anything is imminent,” she added. Mandela was put on life support on Wednesday.

Ndileka emerged from the hospital with other family members to accept bouquets of flowers from members of the public, FRANCE 24’s Charlotte Boitiaux reported. She returned to Mandela’s bedside in tears, she said.

Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe said Mandela was still responding to touch. “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there. He might be waning off, but he’s still there,” she told SABC radio after visiting him in hospital on Thursday.

Family elder Napilisi Mandela, who had been at Mandela’s bedside on Wednesday evening, told AFP that he was using machines to breathe. “It is bad, but what can we do,” he said.

Zuma cancels plans

President Zuma late Wednesday abruptly cancelled a trip to neighbouring Mozambique after he visited Mandela, who has been in critical condition for several days.

It is the first time Zuma has scrapped a public engagement since Mandela was hospitalised on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

“President Zuma was briefed by the doctors who are still doing everything they can to ensure his well-being,” a statement from the presidency said.

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Prayer vigil for Nelson Mandela after condition improves

Karen Allen said people had been singing and lighting candles outside the hospital in Pretoria

South Africans have been holding an all-night prayer vigil for former President Nelson Mandela, outside his former home in Soweto.

The crowd have been singing and saying prayers for Mr Mandela’s health, on what is now his 20th night in hospital.

South Africa’s first black president – an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle – is suffering from a lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that the 94-year-old’s condition had improved, but still remained critical.

“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night,” Mr Zuma said after speaking to Mr Mandela’s medical team.

Mr Zuma cancelled a visit to Mozambique to visit Mr Mandela in hospital.

Meanwhile Mr Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe said he was “still there” and responding to touch.

Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter Makiziwe’s criticism has echoed the sentiments of many South Africans who have baulked at the “intrusive” nature of some of the media coverage around the former president’s state of health.

One such report suggested that Mr Mandela had suffered cardiac arrest on 8 June when he was rushed to hospital, and more recently some unconfirmed media reports said the national icon was now on life support. Some have described such details as “too much information”, others as “insensitive”.

Meanwhile the media continues to camp outside the heart hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated, as well as outside his home in Johannesburg, waiting for any news.

This is particularly uncomfortable for traditional South Africans, who see all the media attention as not only distasteful but also going against African culture.

There is a huge respect for death here and it is never mentioned before the event.

Even in this dark hour, very few speak frankly about the 94-year-old’s passing – instead many are still praying for his recovery.

But she accused some journalists of being like vultures, waiting for her father to die.

Emotional crowds gathered outside the hospital, adding messages of support for Mr Mandela, known by his clan name Madiba.

Children released 94 balloons – one for every year of the ex-president’s life – into the air in his honour.

Correspondents say South Africans now seem resigned to the prospect of his death.

“We don’t like seeing Mandela going through so much pain, he has had a tough time in his life and he’s gone through a lot of struggle. I think this struggle should get over sooner,” Khulile Mlondleni told Reuters news agency.

“We are all going to feel bad when he passes [away], but at the same time we will be celebrating his life. He has done so many great things for this country,” said 25-year-old John Ndlovu, quoted by the agency.

As crowds prayed in Soweto on Thursday evening, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it would hold vigils each day that the former leader remained in hospital.

 

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Reblogged from :   FSP-Microcosm News-Global Community Report

 

Dai Kurokawa / EPA

A portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela rests against the wall as messages written by visitors are seen on the wall at Regina Mundi church in Soweto township, a flashpoint during the anti-apartheid struggle, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 June 2013.

 

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s condition has become critical. MSNBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worse and is now in critical condition at a South African hospital, officials said Sunday.

“The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands,” President Jacob Zuma said in a statement, referring to the 94-year-old former president by his nickname.

Zuma and African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the Pretoria hospital and were briefed on his condition by the medical team, the statement said. They asked the world to pray for the anti-apartheid icon and his family “during this difficult time.”

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Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in ‘serious’ condition

Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in 'serious' condition
© AFP

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is in a “serious but stable” condition after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday due to a recurrence of a lung infection, the country’s government has said.

By News Wires (text)

Nelson Mandela was readmitted to hospital early on Saturday with a renewed lung infection and was in “serious but stable condition,” South Africa’s presidency said, marking the second hospital stay in as many months for the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

“During the past few days former president Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement.

“This morning at about 1:30 am (2330 GMT Friday) his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital. He remains in a serious but stable condition,” it said.

It marks the second hospitalisation in as many months for the frail anti-apartheid hero, who will turn 95 in July. On April 6 he was released after being treated for pneumonia during a 10-day stay.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has stayed in hospital four times in just over half a year, mostly over problems with his chest.

In December 2012, he was hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection and for gallstones surgery, his longest stay in hospital since he walked free from 27 years in jail in 1990.

In March he was admitted for a day for a scheduled check-up and during his 10-day stay weeks later, doctors drained a build-up of fluid, known as a pleural effusion or “water on the lungs”, that had developed in his chest.

Zuma’s office said on Saturday that “the former President is receiving expert medical care and doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable.”

“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family.”

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Fresh footage casts doubts on police claims taxi driver assaulted officer and tried to take his gun before incident

    WARNING: Viewers may find this footage distressing Link to video: South African police officers suspended as van death investigated

    South Africa has suspended eight police officers after the death of a man they tied to the back of a police van and dragged along the road while bystanders looked on.

    Video footage showing the treatment of Mido Macia, in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, has once more focused attention on South Africa‘s police force, already dogged by allegations of brutality, corruption and incompetence.

    In the amateur video footage (warning: contains images that some may find distressing), published by South African newspaper, the Daily Sun, Macia’s hands are tied to the rear of a police van behind his head before it moves off. Just over two hours later he was found dead in a local police cell, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). A postmortem gave the cause of death as head injuries with internal bleeding.

    The video provoked outrage with President Jacob Zuma labelling it “horrific, disturbing and unacceptable. No human being should be treated in that manner.” He has instructed the minister of police to investigate the matter.

    Police chief Riah Phiyega said the eight officers involved had been suspended and the station commander would be removed from his duties. “We would like to assure the country and the world that what is in the video is not how the South African police service in a democratic South Africa goes about its work,” she said.

    The IPID responded by launching an inquiry and giving details of the police version of events. The police account alleged that Macia, 27, a taxi driver from Mozambique, assaulted an officer and took his firearm after officers asked him to move his taxi because it was obstructing traffic. They admitted only that there was a “struggle” to get the taxi driver into the police van.

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    Published on Sep 3, 2012 by

    Greg Marinovich is a veteran photo-journalist and editor-at-large for the South African publication, The Daily Maverick.

    He was at Lonmin’s Marikana mine after the violence that killed 34 people on August 16.

    He speaks to Al Jazeera from Johannesburg.

     

     

     

    South African miners charged with murder of colleagues shot by police

    The 270 miners arrested over this month’s violent strikes in South Africa have been charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues who were shot dead by police.

    South African miners charged with murder of colleagues shot by police

    Supporters of arrested mine workers pray outside the court in Ga Rankuwa, near Pretoria Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
    Aislinn Laing

    By , Johannesburg

    The bizarre twist came as the men appeared in court close to the Lonmin platinum mine charged with public violence over the clashes on August 16.

    The murder charge – and associated charges for attempted murder of 78 miners who were injured in the shooting – was brought by the state under little-known “common purpose” legislation previously used by the apartheid government.

    Frank Lesenyego, spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, said the “technical” charge placed responsibility for any fatal confrontation with armed police on whoever challenged them.

    It was brought despite the fact that Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has confirmed that the 34 slain miners died after police shot at them with live ammunition at the mine owned by Lonmin, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

    “This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities,” Mr Lesenyego said.

    The state also persuaded the magistrate hearing the high-profile case to delay a bail hearing for the miners until September 6. Until then, they will remain in cramped custody in three police stations in the area.

    No police officers have yet been charged by the shooting – Mr Lesenyego said their actions would be investigated by the judicial commission set up by President Jacob Zuma to probe the tragedy which has been instructed to report back in four months.

    The decision to bring murder charges was met with outcry across South Africa yesterday. It coincided with a sensational report which claimed that many of the miners killed on August 16 were shot at close range or run over by police vehicles rather than dying when officers initially opened fire as they were charged by the strikers.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich, who became a national hero in South Africa for his work during apartheid, claimed to have evidence and eyewitness testimony that miners who had hidden from police in a rocky outcrop after the shooting were tracked and murdered by officers.

    Concerns have also been raised about the treatment of the detained miners in police custody – at least 150 have laid claims with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate that they have been tortured and assaulted by officers since their arrest.

    Pierre de Vos, a South African legal expert, said the decision to bring murder charges was “frankly bizarre”.

    “I have never heard of this kind of thing before, even during the apartheid years when police frequently tried to blame protesters for violence meted out to them,” he said.

    “It obviously has the potential to further inflame the emotions of the miners but also to create more sympathy for their plight among ordinary South Africans who have previously been quite sympathetic to the police.”

    Mthunzi Mhaga, a spokesman for South Africa’s justice minister, said he had not been consulted about the decision. “It’s a procedural decision that we cannot get involved in,” he said.

    According to the legalbrief.co.za website, State Prosecutor Nigel Carpenter also argued in court that the suspects were liable for the effects that the bloody violence at Marikana mine had had on the economy. “There were reports in the morning that the rand fell by 12 per cent,” he told the court.