nelson mandela

Malawi became the butt of some gentle humor at Nelson Mandela's funeral Sunday, in the wake of South African President Jacob Zuma's recent gaffe implying the small African nation was backward. Zuma triggered a diplomatic spat in October during a speech when he sought to persuade South African motorists to accept a highway toll plan around Johannesburg.

At the 1964 trial that convicted Nelson Mandela and his co-accused, and sent them to prison for life, he made a statement to the packed courthouse, which he repeated on his release in 1990, after 27 years in detention. "I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said. "It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

This has happened in recent days: The Dutch water company Vitens severed its ties with Israeli counterpart Mekorot; Canada’s largest Protestant church decided to boycott three Israeli companies; the Romanian government refused to send any more construction workers; and American Studies Association academics are voting on a measure to sever links with Israeli universities.

It has been almost a week since Nelson Mandela's passing. For some South Africans, the reality that their beloved former president is no more finally sank in on Wednesday, when they saw his mortal remains at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Mandela's body lay in state at the newly renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre, where Madiba was inaugurated as South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994, from 8am to 5.30pm on Wednesday, under the watchful eyes of the national ceremonial guard of the SA National Defence Force.

During Tuesday's memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela, as tens of thousands gathered in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg and millions more watched on television, an entirely different story emerged: the ten-second interaction between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro.

We've all seen selfies taken in questionable places. During a school lockdown. In front of a man attempting suicide. At Auschwitz. Now, some people are adding President Obama to the list of people with poor selfie judgment after the leader of the free world posed with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday in South Africa.

December 9, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” Nelson Mandela was a man who cherished the ideal of a free society all his life, an ideal that, as he proclaimed at his trial in Pretoria in April 1964, he hoped to live for, but if need be, die for.

Fifty-three heads of state and government have so far confirmed attendance at upcoming memorial events for peace icon Nelson Mandela, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Sunday. The dignitaries will include U.S. President Barack Obama, along with three former American presidents, Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff, French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron.