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Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela’

Nelson Mandela : a South African icon

Friday, December 6th, 2013


Nelson Mandela : a hero is dying

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

President Barack Obama heads to South Africa today overshadowed by the health of Nelson Mandela.

Mr Obama is in the middle of a three-country tour of Africa that the White House hopes will compensate for what some view as years of neglect by the administration of America’s first black president.

Mr Mandela, the 94-year-old former South African president who is clinging to life in a Pretoria hospital, will dominate the president’s day even before he arrives in Johannesburg.

Asked on Thursday whether Mr Obama would be able to pay Mandela a visit, the White House said that was up to the family.

“We are going to completely defer to the wishes of the Mandela family and work with the South African government as relates to our visit,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters in Senegal.

“Whatever the Mandela family deems appropriate, that’s what we’re focused on doing in terms of our interaction with them.”

Mr Obama sees Mandela, also known as Madiba, as a hero. Whether they are able to meet or not, officials said his trip would serve largely as a tribute to the anti-apartheid leader.

“I’ve had the privilege of meeting Madiba and speaking to him. And he’s a personal hero, but I don’t think I’m unique in that regard,” Mr Obama said on Thursday. “If and when he passes from this place, one thing I think we’ll all know is that his legacy is one that will linger on throughout the ages.”

The president arrives in South Africa Friday evening and has no public events scheduled. He could go to the hospital then.

Mr Obama is scheduled to visit Robben Island, where Mandela spent years in prison, later during his trip.

Apartheid laws

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Starting in 1948, the Nationalist Government in South Africa enacted laws to define and enforce segregation.

What makes South Africa’s apartheid era different to segregation and racial hatred that have occurred in other countries is the systematic way in which the National Party, which came into power in 1948, formalised it through the law. The main laws are described below.


Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, Act No 55 of 1949
Prohibited marriages between white people and people of other races. Between 1946 and the enactment of this law, only 75 mixed marriages had been recorded, compared with some 28,000 white marriages.

Immorality Amendment Act, Act No 21 of 1950; amended in 1957 (Act 23)
Prohibited adultery, attempted adultery or related immoral acts (extra-marital sex) between white and black people.

Population Registration Act, Act No 30 of 1950
Led to the creation of a national register in which every person’s race was recorded. A Race Classification Board took the final decision on what a person’s race was in disputed cases.

Group Areas Act, Act No 41 of 1950
Forced physical separation between races by creating different residential areas for different races. Led to forced removals of people living in “wrong” areas, for example Coloureds living in District Six in Cape Town.

Suppression of Communism Act, Act No 44 of 1950
Outlawed communism and the Community Party in South Africa. Communism was defined so broadly that it covered any call for radical change. Communists could be banned from participating in a political organisation and restricted to a particular area.

Bantu Building Workers Act, Act No 27 of 1951
Allowed black people to be trained as artisans in the building trade, something previously reserved for whites only, but they had to work within an area designated for blacks. Made it a criminal offence for a black person to perform any skilled work in urban areas except in those sections designated for black occupation.

Separate Representation of Voters Act, Act No 46 of 1951
Together with the 1956 amendment, this act led to the removal of Coloureds from the common voters’ roll.

Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act, Act No 52 of 1951
Gave the Minister of Native Affairs the power to remove blacks from public or privately owned land and to establishment resettlement camps to house these displaced people.

Bantu Authorities Act, Act No 68 of 1951
Provided for the establishment of black homelands and regional authorities and, with the aim of creating greater self-government in the homelands, abolished the Native Representative Council.

Natives Laws Amendment Act of 1952
Narrowed the definition of the category of blacks who had the right of permanent residence in towns. Section 10 limited this to those who’d been born in a town and had lived there continuously for not less than 15 years, or who had been employed there continuously for at least 15 years, or who had worked continuously for the same employer for at least 10 years.

Natives (Abolition of Passes and Co-ordination of Documents) Act, Act No 67 of 1952
Commonly known as the Pass Laws, this ironically named act forced black people to carry identification with them at all times. A pass included a photograph, details of place of origin, employment record, tax payments, and encounters with the police. It was a criminal offence to be unable to produce a pass when required to do so by the police. No black person could leave a rural area for an urban one without a permit from the local authorities. On arrival in an urban area a permit to seek work had to be obtained within 72 hours.

Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act of 1953
Prohibited strike action by blacks.

Bantu Education Act, Act No 47 of 1953
Established a Black Education Department in the Department of Native Affairs which would compile a curriculum that suited the “nature and requirements of the black people”. The author of the legislation, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd (then Minister of Native Affairs, later Prime Minister), stated that its aim was to prevent Africans receiving an education that would lead them to aspire to positions they wouldn’t be allowed to hold in society. Instead Africans were to receive an education designed to provide them with skills to serve their own people in the homelands or to work in labouring jobs under whites.

Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953
Forced segregation in all public amenities, public buildings, and public transport with the aim of eliminating contact between whites and other races. “Europeans Only” and “Non-Europeans Only” signs were put up. The act stated that facilities provided for different races need not be equal.


Monday, January 18th, 2010
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Nelson Mandela’s biography is here

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Il était une fois une île

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

La FIFA a tenu une réunion de son comité exécutif jeudi sur l’île de Robben Island, qui a accueilli pendant près de 30 ans des prisonniers politiques tels que Nelson Mandela et Jacob Zuma, l’actuel président sud-africain. Emotions…

Il est des endroits que ni le temps, ni les hommes ne pourront totalement transformer, malgré tous leurs efforts. Il y a quarante ans, Robben Island était le symbole d’une certaine forme d’oppression politique. C’est là, sur ce caillou situé à plusieurs kilomètres des côtes sud-africaines, au large du Cap, qu’un gouvernement autoritaire et raciste avait regroupé ceux qui avaient choisi de combattre cette abomination qu’était le régime d’apartheid. Des centaines de prisonniers, noirs et indiens, parmi lesquels plusieurs futurs présidents de la République. C’était entre 1960 et 1990.

La Makana FA, fédération créée de toutes pièces par les prisonniers

Ce jeudi, le Comité exécutif de la FIFA a tenu sur ce caillou balayé par les rafales de vent une réunion historique, évidemment. Plusieurs centaines de journalistes, venus du monde entier, avaient effectué la traversée, et ils ont visité ce qui fut l’une des prisons les plus terribles de l’histoire de l’humanité. Sur place, plusieurs ex-détenus, dont un ministre, Tokyo Sexwale, également membre de la Commission FIFA du fair-play, et surtout quatre membres fondateurs de la Makana FA, cette fédération créée de toutes pièces par ces prisonniers politiques, en 1967.

Anthony Suze (68 ans) était justement l’un de ces « freedom fighters », et son récit, édifiant, nous raconte l’histoire d’hommes qui ont survécu tout en défendant pleinement leur passion. « On avait créé huit clubs, tous rattachés à une famille politique. Moi, j’en voulais un qui rassemble tout le monde, je l’ai baptisé Manong Vultures. Et je choisissais les meilleurs joueurs de la prison ! » Les prisonniers, qui administraient cette Ligue avaient adopté les règlements de la FIFA, ont commencé par fabriquer leur propre ballon, puis ils ont pétitionné auprès des gardiens de l’île, leurs bourreaux, afin d’obtenir plus de temps pour jouer. « On s’entraînait dans nos cellules, où l’on mettait d’ordinaire 90 personnes. »

«J’ai passé quinze ans ici, ensuite je n’ai plus jamais joué au foot»

Deux terrains sablonneux, à l’intérieur de la prison, leur permettaient alors de s’évader. Et de redevenir, pour quelques heures, des hommes libres. « On n’a commencé qu’à partir de 1965 parce qu’avant, les conditions de survie étaient atroces », raconte encore Mister Suze, dans un immense sourire. « Pour nombre d’entre nous, cette Ligue a constitué un terrain d’entraînement pour nos vies futures. J’ai passé quinze ans ici, ensuite je n’ai plus jamais joué au foot. » Le récit de ces hommes courageux a donné lieu à un film, « More than just a game », ainsi qu’à un superbe ouvrage. Quelques années plus tard, la Makana FA a été faite membre honoraire par la FIFA…

En quittant tout à l’heure Robben Island, ce musée vivant qui témoigne de tant de souffrances endurées par des milliers d’hommes, on comprend évidemment pourquoi cette Coupe du monde 2010, organisée sur le sol africain, a tant d’importance pour cette génération. Les survivants, malheureusement, ne savent même pas s’ils pourront assister à quelques rencontres au See Point, le nouveau stade du Cap, qu’on aperçoit, au loin, depuis Robben Island…

Franck Simon, au Cap

taken from :

F W de Klerk praises Nelson Mandela

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

F W de Klerk, the last president of South Africa during apartheid, hailed Nelson Mandela as one of the greatest figures of the last century in a 90th birthday tribute on Thursday to his successor.

De Klerk, who stood down after Mandela won the first multi-racial elections 14 years ago, said his co-winner of the 1993 Nobel peace price was a born leader with the “humility and the grace of a true natural aristocrat.”

“He is the most famous South African who has ever lived and is universally regarded as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century,” said De Klerk in a statement.

The former National party leader acknowledged his working relationship with Mandela went through some rough patches both in negotiations leading up to the end of whites-only rule in 1994 and in a two-year stint as deputy president.

“He was a hard, sometimes remorseless, negotiating partner and our relationship was often severely strained,” he said.

“Nevertheless, whenever the situation demanded it …we were able to overcome our differences and take concerted action to defuse the crises as they arose.

“After his inauguration, Nelson Mandela used his personal charm to promote reconciliation and to mould our widely diverse communities into an emerging multicultural nation. This, I believe, will be seen as his greatest legacy.”

Mandela, who turns 90 on Friday, served one term as South African president before standing down and being succeded by the current head of state Thabo Mbeki in 1999.

Taken from Cape Times


Friday, August 29th, 2008

This video describes what was Apartheid.

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Nelson Mandela’s biography

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Watch this video about the South African leader !

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