Nelson Mandela says farewell to SA Parliament

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- There was need for South Africa to be "proud of its transition to a multi-racial democracy," former President Nelson Mandela emphasised on Monday as he addressed the South African Parliament for the last time.
The 85-year-old world statesman made his farewell address to parliament on the 10th anniversary of his inauguration as the country's first democratically-elected president.
Mandela recently announced that he will be withdrawing from most public events amid speculation that he is becoming increasingly frail.
Taking a swipe at the United States and Britain, Mandela said South Africa's political successes over the past decade was an inspiration to a world left cynical by the war in Iraq.
"We watch as two of the leading democracies, two leading nations of the free world, get involved in a war that the United Nations did not sanction.
We see how the powerful countries -- all of them democracies -- manipulate multilateral bodies to the great disadvantage and suffering of the poorer developing nations," he observed.
Mandela said South Africa had taken a different path and had succeeded in its transition to democracy "because we were prepared to accept the inherent capacity for goodness in the other.
" Mandela also paid tribute to his successor Thabo Mbeki saying his achievement as president and national leader "is the embodiment of what our nation is capable of".
South Africa's last white President, FW de Klerk, who shared a Nobel Peace prize with Mandela in 1994, also addressed Parliament and said Mandela had shown the country how to join hands to deal with its problems.
But De Klerk's appearance in Parliament angered some politicians.
The Independent Democrats accused the African National Congress of dishonouring the event by violating the rules of Parliament.
"The Independent Democrats protest on principle against starting a new Parliament by contaminating our celebration of 10 years of democracy through a blatant disregard for the rules and dignity of an institution central to our democracy," said Patricia de Lille, leader of the Independent Democrats.

10 may 2004 11:20:00

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