Nelson Mandela's Famous Quotes: On Freedom, Humanity, Leadership, Forgiveness and Death

By Carlton Cook

On Death

"Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity." ~ Nelson Mandela 1996 Hamba Kahle Tata 

On Disease

"AIDS is not a curse that we must deny, it is an illness that can be defeated. Resisting the continued stigmatisation of HIV-positive people is not only a compassionate act, it is practical and pragmatic." ~ Nelson Mandela during an address to the Cosatu (CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS) Executive Committee, Johannesburg, South Africa, 25 July 2001

On Forgiveness and Reconciliation 

"If you are negotiating you must do so in a spirit of reconciliation, not from the point of view of issuing ultimatums." ~ Nelson Mandela addressing the media after meting with President FW De Klerk about violence on the East Rand, Union Buildings, Cape Town, South Africa, circa early 1990s 

On Leadership

"A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before." ~ Nelson Mandela from a personal notebook, 16 January 2000 

"Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark and grim, who try over and over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation and even defeat." ~ Nelson Mandela from a letter to Winnie Mandela, Written on Robben Island, 23 June 1969 

On Humanity 

"We accord persons dignity by assuming that they are good, that they share the human qualities we ascribe to ourselves." ~ Nelson Mandela during a Joint sitting of Parliament to mark Ten Years of Democracy, Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa, 10 May 2004 

"For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation." ~ Nelson Mandela during the 46664 Concert, Fancourt, George, South Africa, 19 March 2005  

"Too many women continue to bear the brunt of social and economic deprivation, in the rural as well as urban areas. Domestic violence, rape, abuse of women remain disgraceful blots on the reputation of a country that is called a miracle nation in other respects. The suffering of children invariably impacts more greatly on women than on men." ~ Nelson Mandela speaking at a Diner celebrating Women's month, Johannesburg Country Club, Johannesburg, South Africa, 25 August 2003  

"As long as we take the view that these are problems for women alone to solve, we cannot expect to reverse the high incidence of rape and child abuse. Domestic violence will not be eradicated. We will not defeat this scourge that affects each and every one of us, until we succeed in mobilising the whole of our society to fight it." ~ Nelson Mandela speaking at a National Men's March, Pretoria, South Africa, 22 November 1997  

On Freedom and Equality 

"We have learnt now that even those people with whom we fought the struggle against apartheid's corruption can themselves become corrupted." ~ Nelson Mandela at the opening of the Emthonjeni Youth Centre, Pretoria, South Africa, 25 August 1998 

"The people are increasingly becoming alive to the necessity of the solidarity of all democratic forces regardless of race, party affiliation, religious belief, and ideological conviction." ~ Nelson Mandela from an article entitled 'People are destroyed', Liberation, October 1955 

"When, in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians, without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world." ~ Nelson Mandela during the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, Pretoria, South Africa, 4 December 1997 

On Children 

"Disabled children are equally entitled to an exciting and brilliant future." ~ Nelson Mandela during the opening of the First Annual South African Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 December 1994

"Our love for children is undiminished. Their innocence and energy, their happiness and welfare must be protected and treasured. It is their laughter that I yearned for while in prison. My Children's Fund will continue to bring hope to children and young people." ~ Nelson Mandela in a recorded message for a gala diner in Monaco 'United for a Better World', 1 December 2004 

More articles:

Brian K. Dodd: 20 Quotes From Nelson Mandela: A Leader Who Truly Changed The World

What can Christians Learn from Nelson Mandela's Leadership? (From Mandela's Famous Quotes) 

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