The meaning of Mandela

2013-12-10 00:00

TO grasp fully the meaning of Nelson Mandela’s death, at the age of 95, imagine for a moment that his life had turned out differently. What if he’d perished as a child, like so many youngsters of his generation in the rural backwaters of the Transkei?

Although he believed in armed struggle, and became a leader of an armed guerrilla insurrection, he escaped the fate of so many other comrades who were killed in the bush, blown to pieces by letter bombs sent by the authorities, poisoned by secret agents or hanged for treason or sabotage, which seemed a likely result when sentence was pronounced for him and other leaders of the African National Congress after a long trial in 1964.

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