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Nelson Mandela: In his own words

December 7, 2013

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom. The steps that are needed from the developed nations are clear.”
[Speech Delivered at Live 8, Johannesburg
July 2, 2005]

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. 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 which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
[Opening of Trial on Charges of Sabotage
Pretoria, South Africa April 20, 1964]

“As freedom-loving people, we want to see our country prosper and provide basic services to all. For our freedom can never be complete or our democracy stable unless the basic needs of our people are met. We have seen the stability that development brings. And in turn we know that peace is the most powerful weapon that any community or nation can have for development.”
[Speech on Receiving the Freedom of Durban, South Africa April 16, 1999]

“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”
[Closing Address at the 13th International AIDS Conference, Durban, South Africa
July 14, 2000]

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.”
[Statement at His Inauguration as President
of South Africa, Pretoria, May 10, 1994]

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. 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.” – The Long Walk to Freedom

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