Sunday is National Day of Mourning for late Nelson Mandela

Georgetown, GINA, December 13, 2013

 

The Office of the President has declared Sunday, December 15, 2013 as a National Day of Mourning for the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

On that same day, the State Funeral for Mandela will take place in Qunu in the Eastern Cape of South Africa where he grew up.

Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release. He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife.

Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa’s first black president.

Mandela gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna.

President Donald Ramotar and delegation were in South Africa on December 10 for the Memorial Service that was attended by many world leaders.

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