R.I.P. Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Painting by Marc Alexander

Painting by Marc Alexander

Today we mourn a great loss for humanity – the passing of Nelson Mandela, a hero of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the father of the modern South African state. As a member of the African National Congress (ANC), he abandoned his nonviolent stance after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, and helped found Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the ANC’s military wing.

Mandela was arrested in 1962, sentenced to life imprisonment and served 27 years in the prisons of the white supremacist apartheid government. He retained mass support among South Africa’s majority black population and became an international revolutionary icon. After being released in 1990, he became President of the ANC in 1991. In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end apartheid. In 1994, he was elected President of South Africa in the country’s first universal suffrage elections. By the time he stepped down in 1999, Mandela was one of the most respected figures of postcolonial Africa.

Nelson Mandela was one of the great liberation fighters of our time, a hero of the anti-colonial movement and the fight against global racism. Mandela’s life was fully lived. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all who struggle for emancipation. May his memory inspire revolutionaries to struggle harder and never stop fighting for a better and more just world!



Categories: Colonialism, History, Imperialism, International, Racist Oppression, Revolutionary History, South Africa, Statements, World History

1 reply

  1. Mandela sold out. It’s hard to blame him too much though; he suffered greatly for the struggle, but we need to be honest about what really happened. There is a reason that the mainstream capitalist press is lauding him now. He was co-opted and rendered mostly harmless (and even useful) to the ideological and economic interests of the global capitalist class. The CIA helped get him in prison and now their mouthpieces in the media will do double-duty glossing over or ignoring Mandela’s radical past and fully co-opt him into the capitalist narrative – similarly to how they have treated MLK and others.

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