Panafrican News Agency

Greek Parliament pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

Athens, Greece - (PANA) - Nelson Mandela will forever remain a guide and source of inspiration for future generations, Greek Parliament Speaker Nikolaos Voutsis said Wednesday at a ceremony in Athens to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the late African leader.

Mandela's action and its impact went beyond the borders of South Africa, it was not only a fight in the struggle against apartheid, but also in the realization of human rights around the world, added Mr. Voutsis.

"As the first black president of South Africa, Mandela never based his policy on revenge. He envisioned a new future for his country based on reconciliation and tried to contribute to building a unique South African identity for blacks and whites," he pointed out.

The event was co-organized by the Greek Parliament and the South African Embassy in Athens, with the participation of the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassadors and Diplomatic Delegations from many countries, including a public gathering.

"Today, the lessons learned from Mandela's life and work are topical. They act as a source of inspiration in the fight against inequalities," Mr. Voutsis said.

During the ceremony, actor and director Dimitri Lignadis read out extracts from the book 'Nelson Mandela's Prison Letters'.

The book contains a selection of 255 letters Mandela wrote to his family during the 27 years of his imprisonment at Robben Island. The letters tell the loneliness he experienced in prison cells and shed light on little known aspects of Madiba's intimate personality.

Mandela, who died on 5 December 2013 in Johannesburg, was one of the historic leaders of the struggle against Apartheid before becoming President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, following the first non-segregationist national elections in the country's history.
-0- PANA TA/JSG/IBA/MTA/AR 29Nov2018