Obama salutes fallen friend, Nelson Mandela

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) – US President Barack Obama Tuesday paid a glowing tribute to global icon, Nelson Mandela, saying it is an honour to be with South Africa “to celebrate a life like no other”.

"People from all walks of life...the world thanks you for sharing Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph,” Obama told tens of thousands of mourners at Soweto’s famnous FNB Stadium Tuesday to pay tribute to the world statesman.

In his gripping 20-minute address, Obama recalled how Mandela, who was born during the First World War, emerged as the greatest liberation hero of the 20th Century.

He pointed out that Mandela had used his 27 years imprisonment to learn the language and customs of his oppressors.

"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.

The American President compared Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln and he urged the world to act on Mandela's legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and racism.

He said “Madiba” – Mandela’s clan name – earned his a place in history through the struggle.

"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," added Obama who was loudly applauded.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 10Dec2013

10 december 2013 12:29:18

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