Obama pays tribute to Mandela

The world thanks South Africa for sharing former president Nelson Mandela with the world, US president Barack Obama said on Tuesday.

“It is an honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other,” he said.

“People of every walk of life, the world thanks you for sharing Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph.”

Obama said Mandela was the last great liberator of the 20th century.

He was committed to democracy and rule of law, and received the adoration he deserved.

Madiba could admit to imperfection.

“We loved him so….He was a man of flesh and blood, a son and a husband…that’s why we learnt so much from him.”

“Mandela taught us the power of action and the power of ideals, the importance of reasons and arguments. He understood the ideals could not be contained within prison walls,” said Obama, to loud cheers from the crowd.

“He used decades of prison to sharpen his argument…he learnt the language and customs of his oppressors.”

Mandela changed laws and hearts, he said.

Obama said Madiba channeled his desire to fight through platforms and organisation, so that people could stand up with moral dignity and fight.

This carried a price, he said.

He said Mandela had an ideal for which he was prepared to die for.

Mandela was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal, and he understood the ties that bind the human spirit.

“Ubuntu, a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift.” he said.

Obama said the world thanked South Africa for sharing Mandela.

“It is an honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other,” he said.

“People of every walk of life, the world thanks you for sharing Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph.”

Mandela was the last great liberator of the 20th century.

He was committed to democracy and rule of law, and received the adoration he deserved, said Obama.

Madiba could admit to imperfection and showed humility.

“We loved him so….He was a man of flesh and blood, a son and a husband…that’s why we learnt so much from him.”

He earned his place in history through the struggle, said Obama.

He sent condolences to the Mandela family and South Africa.

-SowetanLIVE

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