WBEZ | Nelson Mandela http://www.wbez.org/tags/nelson-mandela Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Palestinians and Jews both lay claim to Mandela’s legacy http://www.wbez.org/news/palestinians-and-jews-both-lay-claim-mandela%E2%80%99s-legacy-109375 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 11.25.41 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As memorials continue for Nelson Mandela this week, many groups are claiming Mandela as a champion of their cause, including Palestinians and Jews. Mandela&rsquo;s support for national self-determination garnered the appreciation and support of both sides in the intractable Middle East conflict. But while they share a common hero, they take away different lessons from his struggle.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We do consider Nelson Mandela to be our leader,&rdquo; said Hatem Abudayyeh, a Palestinian-American and the Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a sort of replication of that anti-apartheid movement in Palestine and across the world for those that are doing Palestine advocacy and Palestine support work.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Abudayyeh points to the <a href="http://www.bdsmovement.net/">Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement</a>, started in 2005 by supporters of the Palestinian cause. The campaign aims to build international economic and political pressure against Israel, to secure withdrawal of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territories and a dismantling of the wall that separates Israel from the West Bank, among other demands. &ldquo;That is something that we learned from the anti-apartheid movement and that we&rsquo;re incorporating into our own movement,&rdquo; said Abudayyeh. An international divestment campaign helped to formally bring South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid era to an end in 1991.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Israel is your apartheid, pariah state, just like South Africa was your apartheid, pariah state in the &lsquo;70s and &lsquo;80s and during the movement,&rdquo; said Abudayyeh.</p><p dir="ltr">Other high-profile figures have compared Palestinian conditions to that of black South Africans under apartheid &mdash; and found themselves at the center of significant controversy as a result. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter sparked a fierce debate with the 2006 publication of his book, &ldquo;Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.&rdquo; South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a similar comparison. Mandela himself, however, never publicly used the word &ldquo;apartheid&rdquo; when speaking of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Arafat is a comrade in arms, and we treat him as such.&rdquo; Mandela famously said of Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat in 1990. During an interview with ABC&rsquo;s Ted Koppel on Nightline, Mandela defended this position, even when Koppel pressed him to consider whether it could alienate American Jews from his cause in South Africa.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It would be a grave mistake for us to consider our attitude toward Yasser Arafat on the basis of the interests of the Jewish community,&rdquo; Mandela explained. &ldquo;We sympathize with the struggles of the Jewish people and their persecution right down the years. In fact, we have been very much influenced by lack of racialism amongst Jewish communities.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mandela noted that many white leaders in the African National Congress party were Jewish, and that his first job as a lawyer was with a Jewish firm. For many Jews, Mandela&rsquo;s support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination did not mean he was against Israel.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There was no contradiction for Mandela of his also embracing Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people,&rdquo; says Aaron Cohen of the Jewish United Fund in Chicago. &ldquo;He supported Israel&rsquo;s right to exist as a Jewish state.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Cohen says comparisons between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa are false, and that they attempt to delegitimize Israel&rsquo;s right to exist. While Mandela reportedly called Israel a &ldquo;terrorist state&rdquo; in 1990 for offering military and arms support to South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid government, Cohen said that criticism was borne out of Mandela&rsquo;s belief that all people have a right to self-determination. It did not mean that Mandela was anti-Israel.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When he became president of South Africa, Mandela went out of his way to also assure Israel and the Jewish world that he supported Israel&rsquo;s safe and secure existence in the Middle East,&rdquo; said Cohen, &ldquo;and that furthermore, the Arab world should do the same.&rdquo;</p><p>Cohen says instead of being mired in the past, Mandela felt Israelis and Palestinians could resolve their differences if they simply looked to the future. The two sides may draw very different lessons from Mandela&rsquo;s legacy, but as they prepare for Mandela&rsquo;s burial this Sunday, they&rsquo;ll mourn together.</p><p><br /><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 18:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/palestinians-and-jews-both-lay-claim-mandela%E2%80%99s-legacy-109375 Discussing Nelson Mandela in room 215 at Whitney Young http://www.wbez.org/news/discussing-nelson-mandela-room-215-whitney-young-109324 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/WY mandela mrs. boyle photo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Anne-Michele Boyle teaches history at Whitney Young Magnet High School, one of the city&rsquo;s few integrated schools.</p><p dir="ltr">Last night, when she heard Nelson Mandela had died, she tossed out her lesson plans to discuss the former South African president, who brought an end to the country&rsquo;s institutional racism known as apartheid.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ producer Becky Vevea visited room 215 for Ms. Boyle&rsquo;s 3rd period AP World History class on Friday, the day after Mandela&rsquo;s death. Listen to the story:</p><div><p dir="ltr"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123585841&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe>Many students of the students at Whitney Young also spoke about racism as it impacts us today.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Listen to a full discussion about the visit to Ms. Boyle&rsquo;s class on WBEZ&rsquo;s Afternoon Shift with host Niala Boodhoo:&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123580096&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Becky is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/beckyleah15">@b</a><a href="http://www.twitter.com/beckyvevea">eckyvevea</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 17:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/discussing-nelson-mandela-room-215-whitney-young-109324 Major events in the life of Nelson Mandela http://www.wbez.org/news/major-events-life-nelson-mandela-109313 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP200474342003 (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>July 18, 1918 &mdash; Born to Hendry Mphakanyiswa, a Thembu chief, and Nosekeni Qunu in the Umtata district of the Transkei, at a time when virtually all of Africa was under European colonial rule</p><p>1940 &mdash; Expelled from University of Fort Hare, a leading institution for blacks, for role in a student strike with Oliver Tambo, a future African National Congress president. Moves to Johannesburg.</p><p>1942 &mdash; Joins African National Congress.</p><p>1943 &mdash; Receives BA from Fort Hare after completing correspondence courses through University of South Africa.</p><p>1944 &mdash; Helps form the ANC Youth League with Tambo and Walter Sisulu to more aggressively push for racial equality. Marries Evelyn Mase, Sisulu&#39;s cousin.</p><p>1947 &mdash; Mandela elected secretary of youth league.</p><p>1950 &mdash; Becomes president of ANC Youth League, elected to ANC national executive committee</p><p>1952 &mdash; Leads the Defiance Campaign, encouraging people to break racial separation laws. Convicted under Suppression of Communism Act, banned from attending gatherings and leaving Johannesburg. With Tambo, forms the first black law partnership in the country.</p><p>1956 &mdash; Charged with treason, along with 155 other South Africans of all races who had supported the Freedom Charter calling for a non-racial democracy and a socialist-based economy. They were all acquitted after a four-year trial.</p><p>1958 &mdash; Marries social worker Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela after divorcing Evelyn.</p><p>1961 &mdash; Helps establish ANC guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation. He would say later the decision to take up arms came after a &quot;sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by whites.&quot;</p><p>January 1962 &mdash; Leaves the country for military training and to gather support for Umkhonto weSizwe.</p><p>July 1962 &mdash; Returns to South Africa via Botswana and drives to Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia. Travels to KwaZulu-Natal to report back to ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli and other comrades.</p><p>Aug. 5, 1962: Arrested near Howick. Charged with illegally leaving the country and incitement to strike and sentenced to five years&#39; hard labor.</p><p>Nov. 7, 1962 &mdash; Sentenced to five years for incitement and leaving the country illegally and assigned the prisoner number 19476/62.</p><p>May 1963 &mdash; Sent to Robben Island.</p><p>October, 1963 &mdash; Charged with sabotage in Rivonia Trial.</p><p>April 20, 1964 &mdash; At a time when African colonies are becoming independent makes his speech from the dock in which he says he is &quot;prepared to die&quot; for a democratic South Africa.</p><p>June 11, 1964 &mdash; All except two of Rivonia Trialists convicted of sabotage.</p><p>June 12, 1964 &mdash; Mandela and seven others sentenced to life imprisonment. All except Goldberg are sent to Robben Island to serve their sentences. Goldberg, as the only white person convicted in the trial, is held in Pretoria Central Prison. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 466/64.</p><p>1968 &mdash; Mandela&#39;s mother Nosekeni dies. He is forbidden from attending her funeral.</p><p>1969 &mdash; Mandela&#39;s eldest son Thembekile is killed in a car accident. Mandela is forbidden from attending his funeral.</p><p>1982 &mdash; Mandela, Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni and later Kathrada are transferred to Pollsmoor Prison. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 220/82.</p><p>1973 &mdash; Refuses a government offer of release on condition he agrees to a kind of exile in his native Transkei.</p><p>1985 &mdash; Another release offer, on condition he renounce violence. In fiery refusal, read by his daughter Zindzi at a rally, Mandela says burden is on the government to renounce violence, legalize the ANC, scrap segregation laws and agree to political negotiations. Goldberg, who has been held apart from his comrades for more than 20 years, accepts the offer and is released.</p><p>1985 &mdash; Undergoes surgery on his prostate gland at the Volks Hospital in Cape Town. Visited in hospital by Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee.</p><p>May 1986 &mdash; Meets with an Eminent Persons Group from the Commonwealth Group of Nations.</p><p>July 1986 &mdash; Wrote to the Commissioner of Prisons requesting a meeting on a matter of national importance. He requested a meeting with Kobie Coetsee. Met with Coetsee where he first raised the issue of talks about talks between the National Party Government and the ANC. Also asked to meet President PW Botha.</p><p>November 1987 &mdash; Govan Mbeki is released from Robben Island.</p><p>August 1988 &mdash; Contracts tuberculosis and is admitted to Tygerberg Hospital where he remains for six weeks.</p><p>December 1988 &mdash; Continues his recuperation at Constantiaberg MediClinic.</p><p>Dec. 9, 1988 &mdash; Is transferred to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl where he is held in the house formerly occupied by a warder. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 1335/88.</p><p>July 1989 &mdash; Meets P.W. Botha.</p><p>October 1989 &mdash; Sisulu, Kathrada, Motsoaledi, Mlangeni and Mhlaba are released.</p><p>December 1989 &mdash; Meets F.W. de Klerk.</p><p>Feb. 2, 1990 &mdash; At the opening of Parliament President F.W. de Klerk&#39;s announces the unbanning of all political organizations including the African National Congress.</p><p>Feb. 9, 1990 &mdash; Meets de Klerk and is informed of his release the next day. He was to be released in Johannesburg. Mandela objects saying he wants to walk out of the prison at Victor Verster and asks for an extra week for ANC people on the outside to prepare. De Klerk refuses the extension but agrees to release him at Victor Verster.</p><p>Feb. 10, 1990 &mdash; De Klerk announces at a press conference that Nelson Mandela will be released the next day.</p><p>Feb. 11, 1990 &mdash; Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison to cheering crowds. Addresses thousands of well-wishers gathered on the Grand Parade, from the balcony of the City Hall in Cape Town. Spends the night at Bishopscourt, the official residence of the Archbishop of Cape Town.</p><p>Feb. 12, 1990 &mdash; Holds a press conference in the garden of Bishopscourt. Flies to Johannesburg.</p><p>Feb. 12, 1990 &mdash; Stays the night in North Riding at the home of a supporter Sally Rowney.</p><p>Feb. 13, 1990 &mdash; Flies to FNB Stadium in Soweto for a welcome home rally. Spends his first night in decades at his family home of 8115 Orlando West, Soweto.</p><p>1991 &mdash; Mandela elected president of ANC. The government, ANC and 17 other political groups begin formal negotiations on a new constitution.</p><p>1993 &mdash; Draft constitution adopted, opening the way to South Africa&#39;s first all-race election in April 1994. Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk receive Nobel Peace Prize for their work in negotiating an end to apartheid.</p><p>April 1994 &mdash; ANC wins elections.</p><p>May 10, 1994 &mdash; Mandela inaugurated as South Africa&#39;s first black president.</p><p>June 24, 1995 &mdash; South Africa defeats New Zealand in the finals of the Rugby World before fans who include Mandela, wearing the jersey of Francois Penaar, South Africas team captain.</p><p>1996 &mdash; Mandela granted a divorce from Winnie.</p><p>1998 &mdash; Mandela weds former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel on his 80th birthday.</p><p>April 5, 1999 &mdash; Two Libyan suspects handed over to U.N. representative for trial in the Netherlands in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Scotland after intensive diplomatic efforts by Mandela.</p><p>June 16, 1999 &mdash; Mandela retires after one term, a rarity among African presidents, but continues to be active in causes promoting world peace, supporting children and fighting AIDS.</p><p>October 1999 &mdash; Now a former president and sought-after international mediator, Mandela tours Iran, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.</p><p>Jan. 30, 2003 &mdash; In speech, calls U.S. President George W. Bush arrogant and shortsighted for ignoring the U.N. on Iraq.</p><p>2004 &mdash; Announces retirement from public life.</p><p>Jan. 6, 2005 &mdash; Eldest son Makgatho dies. Mandela announces the cause is AIDS-related complications, saying the only way to fight the disease&#39;s stigma is to speak openly.</p><p>July 18, 2007 &mdash; Celebrates 89th birthday by launching &quot;council of elders&quot; &mdash; Nobel peace laureates, politicians and development experts dedicated to finding new ways to foster peace and resolve global crises.</p><p>June 25, 2008 &mdash; In speech in London, goes further than his government in first public comments about Zimbabwe&#39;s political crisis, referring to &quot;the tragic failure of leadership in our neighboring Zimbabwe.&quot;</p><p>July 18, 2009 &mdash; 91st birthday declared international Mandela Day, which organizers hope will become annual day devoted to service to communities.</p><p>July 11, 2010 &mdash; Mandela waves to the crowd at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg as South Africa bids farewell to the 2010 soccer World Cup. Driven in a small golf cart and seated alongside wife, Graca Machel, the smiling, warmly dressed Mandela is welcomed by a thunderous mix of vuvuzelas and roars from the crowd.</p><p>Jan. 28, 2011 &mdash; Mandela released from hospital after spending two nights there for a respiratory infection.</p><p>June 21, 2011 &mdash; Mandela meets at his home with Michelle Obama, her two daughters and other Obama relatives.</p><p>Feb. 26, 2012 &mdash; Mandela is released from a hospital after overnight stay for minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint.</p><p>December 2012 &mdash; Mandela spends nearly three weeks in a hospital, where he is treated for a lung infection and has a procedure to remove gallstones.</p><p>March 9, 2013 &mdash; Mandela spends a night in the hospital for a medical exam.</p><p>March 28, 2013 &mdash; Mandela admitted to a hospital with a lung infection.</p><p>April 6, 2013 &mdash; Mandela is released from the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia and having fluid drained from his lung area.</p><p>April 29, 2013 &mdash; State television broadcasts footage of a visit by President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders to Mandela at his Johannesburg home. Zuma said at the time that Mandela was in good shape, but the footage - the first public images of Mandela in nearly a year - showed him silent and unresponsive, even when Zuma tried to hold his hand.</p><p>June 8, 2013 &mdash; The government says Mandela is admitted to a hospital with a recurring lung infection. Officials describe his condition as serious but stable.</p><p>December 5, 2013 &mdash; Mandela dies at age 95. South African President Jacob Zuma makes the announcement at a news conference, saying &quot;we&#39;ve lost our greatest son.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/major-events-life-nelson-mandela-109313 South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela has died at age 95 http://www.wbez.org/news/south-africas-president-says-nelson-mandela-has-died-age-95-109311 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP189759584092.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>UPDATE 5:06 P.M.&nbsp;</em></p><p>U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he feels honored to have met Mandela. He says Mandela had courage and commitment coupled with &quot;a caring and forgiving heart.&quot;</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Mandela&#39;s message of peace and hope resonates with Chicagoans two decades after the late South African president visited the city. Emanuel also recalled visiting South Africa on his honeymoon in 1994 just after Mandela became president.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush remembered helping to organize Mandela&#39;s visit to Chicago and recalled visiting Mandela in South Africa.</p><p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;</p><p>Nelson Mandela was a master of forgiveness. South Africa&#39;s first black president spent nearly one-third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid, the system of white racist rule that he described as evil, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world.</p><p>As head of state, the ex-boxer, lawyer and inmate lunched with the prosecutor who argued successfully for his incarceration, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was sent to prison who was also the architect of white rule.</p><p>It was this generosity of spirit that made Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95, a global symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation in a world often jarred by conflict and division.</p><p>Mandela&#39;s stature as a fighter against white racist rule and seeker of peace with his enemies was on a par with that of other men he admired: American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and Indian independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, both of whom were assassinated while actively engaged in their callings.</p><p>Mandela&#39;s death deprived the world of one of one of the great figures of modern history and set the stage for days of mourning and reflection about a colossus of the 20th century who projected astonishing grace, resolve and good humor.</p><p>Dressed in black, South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement on television. He said Mandela died &quot;peacefully&quot; while with his family at around 8:50 p.m. on Thursday.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ve lost our greatest son. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,&quot; Zuma said. &quot;Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.&quot;</p><p>At times, Mandela embraced his iconic status, appearing before a rapturous crowd in London&#39;s Wembley Stadium soon after his 1990 release from jail. Sometimes, he sought to downplay it, uneasy about the perils of being put on a pedestal. In an unpublished manuscript, written while in prison, Mandela acknowledged that leaders of the anti-apartheid movement dominated the spotlight but said they were &quot;only part of the story,&quot; and every activist was &quot;like a brick which makes up our organization.&quot;</p><p>He pondered the cost to his family of his dedication to the fight against the racist system of government that jailed him for 27 years and refused him permission to attend the funeral of his mother and of a son who was killed in a car crash. In court, he described himself as &quot;the loneliest man&quot; during his mid-1990s divorce from Winnie Mandela. As president, he could not forge lasting solutions to poverty, unemployment and other social ills that still plague today&#39;s South Africa, which has struggled to live up to its rosy depiction as the &quot;Rainbow Nation.&quot;</p><p>He secured near-mythical status in his country and beyond. Last year, the South African central bank released new banknotes showing his face, a robust, smiling image of a man who was meticulous about his appearance and routinely exercised while in prison. South Africa erected statues of him and named buildings and other places after him. He shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with F. W. de Klerk, the country&#39;s last white president. He was the subject of books, films and songs and a magnet for celebrities.</p><p>In 2010, Mandela waved to the crowd at the Soccer City stadium at the closing ceremony of the World Cup, whose staging in South Africa allowed the country, and the continent, to shine internationally. It was the last public appearance for the former president and prisoner, who smiled broadly and was bundled up against the cold.</p><p>One of the most memorable of his gestures toward racial harmony was the day in 1995 when he strode onto the field before the Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg, and then again after the game, when he congratulated the home team for its victory over a tough New Zealand team. Mandela was wearing South African colors and the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 was on its feet, chanting &quot;Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!&quot;</p><p>It was typical of Mandela to march headlong into a bastion of white Afrikanerdom &mdash; in this case the temple of South African rugby &mdash; and make its followers feel they belonged in the new South Africa.</p><p>The moment was portrayed in &quot;Invictus,&quot; Clint Eastwood&#39;s movie telling the story of South Africa&#39;s transformation through the prism of sport.</p><p>It was a moment half a century in the making. In the 1950s, Mandela sought universal rights through peaceful means but was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for leading a campaign of sabotage against the government. The speech he gave during that trial outlined his vision and resolve.</p><p>&quot;During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,&quot; Mandela said. &quot;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.&quot;</p><p>He was confined to the harsh Robben Island prison near Cape Town for most of his time behind bars, then moved to jails on the mainland. It was forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, yet he and other jailed members of his banned African National Congress were able to smuggle out messages of guidance to the anti-apartheid movement, and in the final stages of his confinement, he negotiated secretly with the apartheid leaders who recognized change was inevitable.</p><p>Thousands died, or were tortured or imprisoned in the decades-long struggle against apartheid, which deprived the black majority of the vote, the right to choose where to live and travel, and other basic freedoms.</p><p>So when inmate No. 46664 went free after 27 years, walking hand-in-hand with his wife Winnie out of a prison on the South African mainland, people worldwide rejoiced. Mandela raised his right fist in triumph, and in his autobiography, &quot;Long Walk to Freedom,&quot; he would write: &quot;As I finally walked through those gates ... I felt &mdash; even at the age of seventy-one &mdash; that my life was beginning anew,&quot;</p><p>Mandela&#39;s release, rivaled the fall of the Berlin Wall just a few months earlier as a symbol of humanity&#39;s yearning for freedom, and his graying hair, raspy voice and colorful shirts made him a globally known figure.</p><p>Life, however, imposed new challenges on Mandela.</p><p>South Africa&#39;s white rulers had portrayed him as the spearhead of a communist revolution and insisted that black majority rule would usher in bloody chaos. Thousands died in factional fighting in the runup to democratic elections in 1994, and Mandela accused the government of collusion in the bloodshed. But voting day, when long lines of voters waited patiently to cast ballots, passed peacefully, as did Mandela&#39;s inauguration as president</p><p>&quot;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,&quot; the new president said. &quot;Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa! Thank you.&quot;</p><p>Mandela also stood hand on heart, saluted by white generals as he sang along to two anthems now one: the apartheid-era Afrikaans &quot;Die Stem,&quot; (&quot;The Voice&quot;) and the African &quot;Nkosi Sikelel&#39; iAfrika&quot; (&quot;Lord Bless Africa&quot;).</p><p>Since apartheid ended, South Africa has held four parliamentary elections and elected three presidents, always peacefully, setting an example on a continent where democracy is still new and fragile. However, corruption scandals and other missteps under the ruling African National Congress, the liberation group once led by Mandela, have undercut some of the early promise.</p><p>President Jacob Zuma periodically observes that the South African white minority is far wealthier than the black majority, an imbalance that he regards as a vestige of the apartheid system that bestowed most economic benefits on whites.</p><p>When Mandela came to power, black South Africans anticipated quick fixes after being denied proper housing, schools and health care under apartheid. The new government, however, embraced free-market policies to keep white-dominated big business on its side and attract foreign investment. The policy averted the kind of economic deterioration that occurred in Zimbabwe after independence; South Africa, though, has one of the world&#39;s biggest gaps between rich and poor.</p><p>Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918, the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, a Xhosa homeland that later became one of the &quot;Bantustans&quot; set up as independent republics by the apartheid regime to cement the separation of whites and blacks.</p><p>Mandela&#39;s royal upbringing gave him a regal bearing that became his hallmark. Many South Africans of all races would later call him by his clan name, Madiba, as a token of affection and respect.</p><p>Growing up at a time when virtually all of Africa was under European colonial rule, Mandela attended Methodist schools before being admitted to the black University of Fort Hare in 1938. He was expelled two years later for his role in a student strike.</p><p>He moved to Johannesburg and worked as a policeman at a gold mine, boxed as an amateur heavyweight and studied law.</p><p>His first wife, nurse Evelyn Mase, bore him four children. A daughter died in infancy, a son was killed in a car crash in 1970 and another son died of AIDS in 2005. The couple divorced in 1957 and Evelyn died in 2004.</p><p>Mandela began his rise through the anti-apartheid movement in 1944, when he helped form the ANC Youth League.</p><p>He organized a campaign in 1952 to encourage defiance of laws that segregated schools, marriage, housing and job opportunities. The government retaliated by barring him from attending gatherings and leaving Johannesburg, the first of many &quot;banning&quot; orders he was to endure.</p><p>After a two-day nationwide strike was crushed by police, he and a small group of ANC colleagues decided on military action and Mandela pushed to form the movement&#39;s guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation.</p><p>He was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years&#39; hard labor for leaving the country illegally and inciting blacks to strike.</p><p>A year later, police uncovered the ANC&#39;s underground headquarters on a farm near Johannesburg and seized documents outlining plans for a guerrilla campaign. At a time when African colonies were one by one becoming independent states, Mandela and seven co-defendants were sentenced to life in prison.</p><p>The ANC&#39;s armed wing was later involved in a series of high-profile bombings that killed civilians, and many in the white minority viewed the imprisoned Mandela as a terrorist. The apartheid government, meanwhile, was denounced globally for its campaign of beatings, assassinations and other violent attacks on opponents.</p><p>Even in numbing confinement, Mandela sought to flourish.</p><p>&quot;Incidentally, you may find that the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings,&quot; he wrote in 1975 to Winnie Mandela, a prominent activist in her own right who was in a separate jail at that time.</p><p>Mandela turned down conditional offers of freedom during his decades in prison. In 1989, P.W. Botha, South Africa&#39;s hard-line president, was replaced by de Klerk, who recognized apartheid&#39;s end was near. Mandela continued, even in his last weeks in prison, to advocate nationalizing banks, mines and monopoly industries &mdash; a stance that frightened the white business community.</p><p>But talks were already underway, with Mandela being spirited out of prison to meet white government leaders. After his release, he took charge of the ANC, and was elected president in a landslide in South Africa&#39;s first all-race election.</p><p>Perceived successes during Mandela&#39;s tenure include the introduction of a constitution with robust protections for individual rights, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he established with his fellow Nobelist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It allowed human rights offenders of all races to admit their crimes publicly in return for lenient treatment. Though not regarded as wholly successful, it proved to be a kind of national therapy that would become a model for other countries emerging from prolonged strife.</p><p>Despite his saintly image, Mandela was sometimes a harsh critic. When black journalists mildly criticized his government, he painted them as stooges of the whites who owned the media. Some whites with complaints were dismissed as pining for their old privileges.</p><p>In the buildup to the Iraq War, Mandela harshly rebuked President George W. Bush. &quot;Why is the United States behaving so arrogantly?&quot; he asked in a speech. &quot;All that (Bush) wants is Iraqi oil.&quot; He suggested Bush and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair were racists, and claimed America, &quot;which has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world,&quot; had no moral standing.</p><p>Until Bush repealed the order in 2008, Mandela could not visit the U.S. without the secretary of state certifying that he was not a terrorist.</p><p>To critics of his closeness to Fidel Castro and Moammar Gadhafi despite human rights violations in the countries they ruled, Mandela explained that he wouldn&#39;t forsake supporters of the anti-apartheid struggle.</p><p>To the disappointment of many South Africans, he increasingly left the governing to Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, who won the next presidential election and took over when Mandela&#39;s term ended in 1999.</p><p>&quot;I must step down while there are one or two people who admire me,&quot; Mandela joked at the time. When he retired, he said he was going to stand on a street with a sign that said: &quot;Unemployed, no job. New wife and large family to support.&quot;</p><p>His marriage to Winnie had fallen apart after his release and he married Graca Machel, the widowed, former first lady of neighboring Mozambique.</p><p>With apartheid vanquished, Mandela turned to peacemaking efforts in other parts of Africa and the world and eventually to fighting AIDS, publicly acknowledging that his own son, Makgatho, had died of the disease.</p><p>Mandela&#39;s final years were marked by frequent hospitalizations as he struggled with respiratory problems that had bothered him since he contracted tuberculosis in prison.</p><p>He stayed in his rural home in Qunu in Eastern Cape province, where Hillary Clinton, then U.S. secretary of state, visited him in 2012, but then moved full-time to his home in Johannesburg so he could be close to medical care in Pretoria, the capital.</p><p>His three surviving children are daughter Makaziwe by his first marriage, and daughters Zindzi and Zenani by his second.</p></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/south-africas-president-says-nelson-mandela-has-died-age-95-109311 What will become of South Africa after Mandela? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-12/south-africa-after-mandela-104614 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_ap719761612708.jpg" title="Nelson Mandela is more than a leader, he is a symbol of freedom and unity (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)" /></div><p>Since early summer, Nelson Mandela has been in and out of the hospital. At 94, he is suffering from a host of maladies that are common to the aging process. Like all of us, he is dying, but at a somewhat accelerated pace.</p><p>As the poets suggest&mdash; in every person&#39;s passing we are all diminished. And in Mandela&rsquo;s case, his death not only diminishes us as a species, but it could also radically effect the political landscape of a country he loves and literally helped create.</p><p>Many political observers feel that Mandela&rsquo;s passing will remind the people of South Africa of two unassailable facts: that real progress has been made, and how much there is yet to be done. Today, thanks in great part to Mandela&rsquo;s political and economic initiatives as well as his moral leadership, South Africa is on the mend. Unemployment has been cut in half, discrimination in housing, education, and health care have been addressed head on. Tourism has radically increased. And, South Africa is now a serious player in the global marketplace. But underneath all of this there remains racial discord and anger, deep wounds and memories of Apartheid past, and a lack of confidence and trust in the future. The simple fact remains, that economically, politically, and socially, South Africa is a work in progress.</p><p>Nelson Mandela is a lawyer, a revolutionary, a political organizer, a convicted felon, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the first elected president of the new South Africa. But more than just a leader, Mandela is the spirit and the symbol of Black and White African freedom, unity, and justice. He is loved, admired, and touted. He is, in the eyes of most of his people, the Washington, Lincoln, and Gandhi of South Africa.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-12/south-africa-after-mandela-104614