Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013.
Revolutionary, President and Nobel Price winner.
“If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.” (After being convicted to five years hard labor, November 1962)
“I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience.” (Statement during trial, 1962)
“I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did.” (At the opening of his trial, April 20, 1964)
“Social equality is the only basis of human happiness.” (A letter written on August 1, 1970)
“Difficulties break some men but make others.” (From a letter to wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island, February 1975)
“I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.” (From his unpublished autobiographical manuscript, 1975)
“Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)
“Without democracy there cannot be peace.” (South Africa, May 9, 1992)
“We are fighting for a society where people will cease thinking in terms of colour.” (March 8, 1993)
“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.” (Interview for Mandela, 1994)
“Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.” (December 16, 1995)
“I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)