Madiba 90

Too much hatred, says Madiba

2008-07-12 22:29

Special Report

Mandela: SA needs good leaders

Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela on Saturday called for more solidarity to end conflicts that have sown hatred and division around the world.

In a speech before the presentation of the annual Nelson Mandela lecture by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Mandela, who turns 90 on July 18, said there was a need to place concern for others at the centre of human values.

"There is still too much discord, hatred, division, conflict and violence in our world here at the beginning of the twenty-first century," he said.

The Nobel peace laureate, who gave his speech seated, praised Johnson-Sirleaf for being an inspiring example for Africa through her efforts for peace on the continent.

In her presentation of the 6th annual Mandela lecture, the Liberian leader paid tribute to Mandela for paving the way for a new generation of African leaders and bringing democracy to Africa.

Mandela, who retired from politics nine years ago, has become a symbol of freedom admired the world over.

Before the lecture, a group of about 200 residents of Kliptown, a squatter camp near the Soweto hotel where the lecture took place, handed a protest letter to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, saying Mandela's pledges of better living conditions for all had not been fulfilled.

Johnson-Sirleaf, who became Africa's first elected woman president in 2006, said Africa was edging closer to achieving the goals of economic and political transformation, though many challenges remained.

"I do believe that a new Africa is unfolding before our eyes. The African Renaissance is now at hand. It is within reach," Johnson-Sirleaf said.

She said the continent had managed faster economic growth, was slowly emerging from its debt crisis and had gradually established more than 20 democracies.

However, there was still room for more development.

"First, we require much stronger economic management. Second, the resolution of the debt crisis and the changing relationship with our international partners. And third, the shift to democratic and accountable governance."

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