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“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”
“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”
~ His Excellency Nelson Mandela
On December 5, 2013, the world mourned the passing of the much revered former President of South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela. Affectionately known as “Madiba” (his clan name), or “Tata” (Father) in Xhosa tribal language, Mr. Mandela was internationally loved and respected for his integrity, courage, and total dedication to his people.
Mr. Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo, Transkei. His great-grandfather was the king of the Thembu people and his father was the chief of Mvezo and councilor to the royal family. While in his twenties, Mr. Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), helping to form the ANC Youth League.
In 1993, jointly with the seventh President Frederik Willem de Klerk, Mr. Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize for their unceasing efforts for the equality of all citizens, and in establishing the foundation for a new democratic South Africa. Mr. Mandela won the country’s first multiracial elections, serving as president from 1994 to 1999. He worked tirelessly for peace in his nation, as well as for abundance and health for all his co-citizens.
With thousands of admirers gathered to honor and celebrate his life, His Excellency Nelson Mandela was laid to rest on December 15, 2013 in his childhood town of Qunu. Many world leaders expressed heartfelt tributes to the hero. United States President Barack Obama said, “It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well, to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “South Africa has lost a hero, we have lost a father, the world has lost a beloved friend and mentor.”
With sincere love and sympathy, Supreme Master Ching Hai sent the above letter of condolence to the family of His Excellency Nelson Mandela. Also, at the request of Supreme Master Ching Hai, our Association members from South Africa delivered flowers to His Excellency’s family at their home.