Mandela now belongs to the ages - Obama

Washington, DC, US (PANA) - US first black President Barack Obama Friday paid a glowing tribute to South Africa's first black President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, saying ''he no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.''

''He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth,'' he said in a statement shortly after the South African presidency announced the death of the anti-apartheid hero and global icon Thursday night in his Johannesburg home.

Obama said he was one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life.  

''My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid.  I studied his words and his writings.  The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him,'' he said.

''We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.

''For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace,'' PANA quoted Obama as further saying.
-0- PANA SEG 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 07:43:25

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