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Nelson Mandela dies


HarmonicGenerator

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Just breaking on BBC news now:

 

5 December 2013 Last updated at 21:48 Share this pageEmailPrint

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South Africa's Nelson Mandela dies

 

South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa's president says.

 

Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.

 

He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.

 

In a statement on South African national TV, Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had "departed" and was at peace.

 

Will be interesting to see how South Africa copes without his figurehead-like status. I don't know as much about Mandela as I should but so many people saw him as such an inspirational figure, his influence will certainly be missed and his legacy won't be forgotten.

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Nice story just posted by Sir Ian McKellen. I remember seeing the Robben Island Bible in the 'Staging the World' exhbition, and thinking about that Julius Caesar quote for ages, and what it must have meant in that situation.

 

Nelson Mandela

1918-2013

 

The Valiant Nelson Mandela

I met him once, in February 1995. He'd not long been President of the new Republic of South Africa and a debate was on to write the new constitution. A Constitutional Committee was lobbying to ensure that it would be constitutionally illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality. The Committee invited me to raise funds for their work, with my solo show A Knight Out, which I performed in CapeTown, Durban and Johannesburg.

Then, out of the blue, a meeting was proposed with Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, where he worked one day per week. I was to accompany two young gay people, asking the President to support them and the aims of the Constitutional Committee: Phumzile Mtetwa, a lesbian law student at Wits University and openly-gay Simon Nkoli, who had been a fighter against apartheid. Both adored Mandela, Madiba, Tata, their granddaddy.

When our taxi picked up Simon he was waiting outside his digs, not in his habitual shorts and bare feet but in a borrowed dark suit and shoes. And he had a briefcase. "What's in the briefcase, Simon?" "Nothing. But it would be disrespectful to meet Madiba, without looking the business." The three of us arrived at ANC headquarters in Johannesburg, where we were invited to deposit our weapons and any live ammunition, before the lift to the top of the building. Simon realised he'd left the empty briefcase in the taxi. A young minder told us the President was tired but ready for us and showed us into an office sitting-room.

On the desk were piled copies of his autobiography. He sat on an upright upholstered chair, legs crossed so his striped socks showed. His eyes drooped, damaged by the hard labour in the Robben Island lime quarry. He spoke quietly, about the weather but then my reasons for being in RSA. That was my cue to introduce Phumzeli who made the case for protecting gay people from discrimination. The victim of apartheid quickly got the point. He then asked about Phumi's education. Perhaps it was that he wasn't at ease talking about gay issues, nervous even. I'd been warned that he might giggle.

The chatterbox Simon hadn't yet spoken when our 20 minutes was almost up. In a rush he told Madiba that he'd been on trial for his life and then released. He said, "My regret about not being found guilty is that I missed the chance to serve with you on Robben Island." Mandela looked right at Simon, shaking his head. "No. No you don't regret that."

I asked if we could tell the press that the President supported the Constitutional Committee. The president nodded "Yes" and it was time for the photograph

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95 years is a hell of an innings. RIP Nelson Mandela.

 

I know this shouldn't be an issue right now, but it still irks me- Paul Walker dies, within an hour over 50 people have posted statuses on my FB. Nelson Mandela dies, about 3 people have posted.

 

Personally, I'm a big advocate of equality of all types- as a disabled person it really hits home for me- so Mandela was truly an inspirational figure in my eyes.

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95 years is a hell of an innings. RIP Nelson Mandela.

 

I know this shouldn't be an issue right now, but it still irks me- Paul Walker dies, within an hour over 50 people have posted statuses on my FB. Nelson Mandela dies, about 3 people have posted.

 

Personally, I'm a big advocate of equality of all types- as a disabled person it really hits home for me- so Mandela was truly an inspirational figure in my eyes.

 

Mine is a constant stream of Nelson Mandela RIPs. Albeit mostly from people who I'm sure have no idea who he was or what he did.

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I know this shouldn't be an issue right now, but it still irks me- Paul Walker dies, within an hour over 50 people have posted statuses on my FB. Nelson Mandela dies, about 3 people have posted.

 

Fucking hell, poor Paul Walker, I've read so many comments about how people cared too much about his death, far more than actual tributes, what do you care if people are upset he's dead? If it makes you feel better my facebook newsfeed is nothing but Nelson Mandela RIPs (except one guy talking about the birthday he just had)

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It's just the lack of recognition for a man in Nelson Mandela who did amazing things that annoys me. I'm upset about Paul Walker too, he was a good actor who made some fun movies. Just a comment on how society (at least in my part of it) seem to care more about a Hollywood actor than a true revolutionary.

 

Also, I haven't read any comments about how people cared too much about his death, we really do live in different parts of the world!

 

Anyway, I don't want to get into a big debate over it- death is a tragic thing no matter who it happens to.

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95 years is a hell of an innings. RIP Nelson Mandela.

 

I know this shouldn't be an issue right now, but it still irks me- Paul Walker dies, within an hour over 50 people have posted statuses on my FB. Nelson Mandela dies, about 3 people have posted.

 

Personally, I'm a big advocate of equality of all types- as a disabled person it really hits home for me- so Mandela was truly an inspirational figure in my eyes.

 

You clearly have the wrong friends on Facebook then. It's just all Mandela statuses on my news feed tonight.

 

RIP. An inspirational man.

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There's a strip from the webcomic Achewood just after Michael Jackson died where one of the characters mentions how it's such a huge event that your brain struggles to cope with the significance of it. I remember the day Michael Jackson died vividly, and this makes that feel like just some fucking Thursday. This is just... impossibly big. I don't feel at all qualified or entitled to comment on the man's astonishing life and legacy, but I think that would rather defeat the point of everything he did. So I'm glad everyone is speaking, even if they're just now learning about what he did. Even if they're idiots parroting the "terrorist" line. I'm even glad the Westboro Baptist Church are declaring that they'll picket his funeral. Because the scale of the reaction shows the scale of the good this man did. It's a massive reaction to a massive action. May we always remember both of those.

 

I'm rambling. I'll shut my privileged white mouth and hope that I live to affect a microcosm of the positive change on this world that Nelson Mandela did.

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RIP Nelson Mandela. A figure who transcended politics and brought positive change and hope to many.

 

 

It must have been truly bizarre for those people who went into the premier of "The Long Walk Home" to come out afterwards to be greeted with this news.

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You're right, I was just trying to diffuse the seemingly pissy tone of Bellend's comment, which seemed to imply that I was uncaring about Paul Walker's death. "Tragic" isn't a term for someone who lived a full lifespan, but it's certainly sad that Mandela's time has come to an end. I agree that he'll never be forgotten, by those who know of his influence.

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