"Only free men can negotiate. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated." —Nelson Mandela to then-South African President Pieter W. Botha, in 1985.
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell." —current South African President Jacob Zuma, announcing Mandela’s death today.
An article headlined “8 Foes of Apartheid Get Life Terms in S. Africa" appeared in the L.A. Times on June 13, 1964. Here’s what the paper’s front page looked like the day after Mandela was released from prison on Feb. 11, 1990.
In December of that year, he spoke optimistically about South Africa’s future in this interview:
Q: What sort of South Africa do you envisage?
A: Very simple. It is a South Africa based on the Freedom Charter (a manifesto drawn up by the ANC and political allies in the 1950s), which is our basic policy; … a non-racial society where all population groups would enjoy equality before the law, and where all forms of racial discrimination were abolished. It is a South Africa where there will be a bill of rights defining the rights of citizens, a bill of rights that is entrenched by the ability of any person who considers his rights are threatened or violated to have access to an independent judiciary. It is a South Africa in which there will be political parties; where political dissent will not be dealt with in a way that shows a lack of patience and a lack of political tolerance.
Here’s the Los Angeles Times obituary of Mandela, written by Deputy Managing Editor Scott Kraft, who covered Mandela as a reporter (you’ll see his byline more than once on the front page linked above); Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Bob Drogin, who described Mandela as “the most remarkable man I ever met” in a tweet today; and Johannesburg correspondent Robyn Dixon (who has also been covering today’s events on Twitter).
More recommended reading: a timeline of Mandela’s life; a first-person account of growing up in a changing South Africa by Times photojournalist Jerome Adamstein; a recollection of his 1990 L.A. visit by columnist Patt Morrison; and Mandela’s own address to those assembled at a Cape Town rally upon his release from prison in February 1990. And here are more photos from Mandela’s life.
Top photo: Mandela and his then-wife Winnie, along with L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, on the steps of City Hall during a trip to Los Angeles on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Middle photo: Mandela holds up the key to the city that he was presented by Mayor Bradley, also on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Bottom photo: Mandela visits L.A.’s First AME Church on July 9, 1993. Credit: Los Angeles Times.
Previously on L.A. Times Past: Happy 95th birthday, Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela
"If at any point over the coming days, weeks, and months to come, you find yourself confused as to how to navigate the thicket of pictures of Nelson Mandela coming at you in every country in the world, bear in mind this salient fact of history: it was once illegal in South Africa to have a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home." - My two cents.
A look at next week’s cover, “Madiba,” by the artist Kadir Nelson: http://nyr.kr/1f0Bwh0
Obit of The Day: Nelson Mandela, Former South African President & Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies At Age 95 Of Complications Related To A Recurring Lung Infection
Former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has died from complications related to a recurring lung infection. He was 95.
Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president by a near two-thirds margin in 1994, after spending 27 years in prison for his role as a leader in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He served as president for five years, until retiring in 1999.
For his part in ending apartheid, Mandela was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, among many others.
Born in 1918 in a small South African village, Mandela eventually moved to Johannesburg, where in 1942 he joined in the African National Congress, co-founding the group’s Youth League in 1944. At the time Mandela was in law school at the University of Witwatersrand, though, in part because of his focus on politics, he failed his third year exams three times and wouldn’t practice law until 1953.
His role in the ANC continued to grow throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, helping transform the group from one reliant on petitions to one that relied upon strikes, boycotts and other forms of civil disobedience. While working with the ANC, he met and recruited a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, whom he went on to marry in 1958.
Mandela supported peaceful forms of protest until 1961, when he co-founded the armed division of the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, or MK, which focused on guerrilla warfare and sabotage, based on Mandela’s newfound beliefs that such measures were necessary to end apartheid. That same year, Mandela organized a workers’ strike. In 1962, he was arrested for the strike and sentenced to five years in prison. In early 1964, Mandela and 10 other members of the ANC were sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on four charges of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Mandela spent the next 18 years of his life in a prison on Robben Island, confined to a damp, 56-square foot concrete cell when he wasn’t forced to smash rocks into gravel or work in a lime quarry. For his first few years in prison, he was banned from reading any newspapers, and was allowed only one visitor and one letter every six months.
In 1982, after nearly two decades in Robben, Mandela and other ANC prisoners were transferred to the maximum security Pollsmoor Prison, where, striking up a friendship with the commanding officer, he was allowed a roof garden and and increased rate of correspondence: one letter a week. He underwent prostate surgery and contracted tuberculosis, while staying politically active as South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement battled President P.W. Botha. In 1985, offered a chance at early release, on the condition that he renounce armed struggle, Mandela declined.
At the end of the decade, in a new prison in the southwest where he was given a warder’s house and private cook, Mandela earned the law degree he had spent part of three decades studying for. Botha suffered a stroke, and was replaced by F. W. De Klerk, who, realizing that the apartheid system was unsustainable, freed all ANC prisoners except Mandela in 1989, and Mandela himself in February 1990.
Upon his release, Mandela traveled throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, meeting world leaders and giving addresses. The next year, he returned to South Africa, was elected president of the ANC, and entered into a cease fire with the ruling government.
Despite increasing personal strain involving his deteriorating marriage with Winnie, who was put on trial for kidnapping and and assault, and violence between ANC supporters and other political parties—much of it, he suspected, promoted by the state—Mandela pushed through negotiations for free and democratic elections with De Klerk. After three years of talks, spurred on by the Bisho massacre, the pair agreed to a new, interim constitution and free democratic elections.
Despite the best efforts of violent ethnic separatists, and over the fears of South Africa’s white media, the elections were held in April 1994. With 62 percent of the vote, the ANC—banned from the previous election—now controlled parliament and nearly enough votes to change the constitution.
Mandela remained in office for five years, creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to push for national reconciliation without alienating the wealthy white elite, increasing spending on aid and development programs in an attempt to bring parity to black and white communities. After his retirement in 1999—Mandela, aged 81, had never planned to run for a second term—he focused on charity and aid work, in particular HIV/AIDS activism.
Mandela had divorced Winnie in 1995, and in 1998 married Mozambican politican Graça Machel. He fathered six children, and is survived by his wife, Graca, and two of his children.
A look at Nelson Mandela’s life in photographs: http://nyr.kr/1f0y85H
Above: Mandela salutes the crowd in Galeshewe Stadium, near Kimberley, South Africa, on February 25, 1994, during a three-day campaign swing for the April all-race general election. Photograph by David Brauchli/AP.
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA
THE PRESIDENT: At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “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. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.
Valentin Casa can’t shake the recurring nightmares. And this day certainly isn’t helping.
The 36-year-old farmer looks on as forensic investigators unearth a pair of finger bones and two copper rings from a mass grave in the village of Huallhua on the eastern steppes of Peru’s Andes. The grave contains the long-buried remains of two women and 13 children, and Casa believes the bones and rings belonged to his mother.
As a boy 27 years ago, Casa watched from behind trees as soldiers and their paramilitary allies dismembered and killed his mother and other women and children left behind by fleeing Shining Path rebels. Civilians suspected of backing the rebels were hunted down and killed. Two weeks later, troops and their civilian confederates caught and killed men from Casa’s village, including his father, whose throat they slit.
"I drank my own urine to survive," Casa remembers after his mother was killed and he fled into the forest. In his recurring nightmare, Casa is chased by someone, he knows not who. He always awakens with a start, covered in sweat.
Teresa Vilchez, 52, says she still suffers occasional vaginal bleeding from a gang rape by soldiers in 1984 at the nearby Mollebamba barracks. Rebels killed her husband, she says, and soldiers killed her mother, who she says was disfigured in the customary way after being raped: Her breasts were cut off.
No one has been arrested or prosecuted to date for the crimes in Chungui — not a single soldier, rebel or civilian. The survivors are mostly on their own. Villagers say no one has received any mental health counseling. Vilchez has never seen a gynecologist.
Three decades later, this isolated corner of Peru is witnessing the biggest exhumation to date of victims of the nation’s 1980-2000 internal conflict. The worst of its carnage occurred on these hills between the Andes ridge and Amazon jungle.
"Everybody here is traumatized," Casa says as he watches the work underway. "Whoever says he isn’t is lying."
The killing fields are an 18-hour walk from the nearest road in a region known as “Oreja de Perro,” or Dog’s Ear. It is a place where health care, schools, police and other state institutions barely exist. There are no roads, electricity or phones. The hills are still patrolled by Shining Path rebels, and drug traffickers flaunt the state’s absence. Today’s Shining Path only numbers in the hundreds, taxes the cocaine trade and still has a reputation for cultivating local farmers.
Authorities in distant Lima have been painfully slow to dispatch teams to dig up the dead from a brutal conflict that, according to a 2003 truth commission report, claimed an estimated 70,000 lives. Just over half were slain by Maoist-inspired rebels, over a third by security forces, the commission found. In November, forensic anthropologists began their work in the Chungui district and expect to remove 202 bodies in all — mostly women and children. At least 1,384 people were killed in Chungui, which is slightly larger than Hong Kong geographically but has only 6,000 inhabitants. — Read More
Photos by Rodrigo Abd/AP
Immigration activists are on their 22nd day of fasting for reform. Over the last three weeks, top Democrats joined them.
Photos via Fast For Families, AP
For the third year in a row, LightBox presents one photograph from each calendar day of the past twelve months selected by TIME’s Senior Photo Editor Phil Bicker.
The leader of Thailand’s anti-government protests said late Sunday he has had a face-to-face talk with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but that he refused to back down from his movement’s demand that her administration step down in favor of an appointed council.
Suthep Thaugsuban said in a speech to supporters at one of the protest encampments that the meeting with was held under the auspices of the military, which says it is neutral in the conflict.
Suthep insisted to his supporters that the talk did not constitute negotiations. The protesters had dubbed Sunday “victory day” but failed to attain their main stated goal of taking over the prime minister’s offices, despite engaging in pitched street battles. (AP)
(Photos courtesy Martha Ann Lillard)
It’s a long way from central Oklahoma to Syria, but one of America’s last iron lung survivors says she’s a living reminder that an outbreak of polio anywhere in the world is a danger everywhere.
Beyond race, poverty and even gang affiliation, a person’s network of friends could be the best predictor of who will be killed by gun violence. (Photo by JON LOWENSTEIN/NOOR)
November 27, 2013- Fourteen girls and women from the ‘7 am movement’ were sentenced to 11 years in prison for “illegal assembly, possession of illegal weapons, blocking roads and destroying public property”. The group are aged 15 to 30, with seven under the age of 17.
The 7 am youth movement is peaceful and was launched in Alexandria to protest the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
"Small example: earlier today I found myself trapped in a place with CNN on in the background, showing a fair-and-balanced account of losers and winners. First, the loser: a guy who admits that Obamacare has gotten him a plan cheaper than the insurance he had, but who has found that his current allergist is off-network. Annoying, no doubt; but there are other allergists, and this particular one probably didn’t help the case by saying that he’s thinking of refusing to take Medicare patients, too.
And in any case, insurance with restricted networks is hardly something new to Obamacare.
Then, the winners: a couple with no insurance at all, because her premium would have been prohibitive and he has a preexisting condition that won’t let him buy any kind of insurance at all — but now both covered, at a very affordable price, by Covered California.
I don’t know about you, but these don’t sound to me like equivalent stories.
At this rate, the whole horrors-of-Obamacare meme will be gone in weeks, not months. But the GOP echo chamber won’t be able to let it go." -
CNN loves its false equivalencies almost as much as it loves its shark attacks and missing pretty young white women.
This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
- France will send 1000 more troops to the Central African Republic as the situation rapidly deteriorates.
- General strikes in three Tunisian cities over economic conditions lead to clashes with security forces.
- Libyan militia Ansar al-Shariah was forced to flee its headquarters in Benghazi on Monday after engaging in a protracted gun battle with local military.
- The Egyptian president signed a law on Sunday that bans protests without police approval. A well-known activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, has since been arrested for calling for protests in violation of the ban.
- Egypt expelled the Turkish ambassador after Erdogan’s call for Morsi to be freed.
- 500 Turks have reportedly joined Al Qaeda fighters in Syria.
- 2 Swedish journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.
- Children targeted by snipers in Syria.
- A new UNHCR report on the Syrian child refugee crisis says that more than 1.1 million children are registered as refugees.
- The Syrian government will attend peace talks in Geneva, which are set for January 22.
- The Free Syrian Army refuses a ceasefire for the peace talks.
- The UN Relief and Works Agency unveiled a photography exhibit in Jerusalem of Palestinian refugees since 1948.
- Three alleged Palestinian militants were killed in an Israeli raid in the West Bank.
- 33 were killed in shootings and bombings across Iraq on Wednesday.
- A landmark deal was announced on Sunday morning between world powers and Iran over nuclear weapons. The deal is a six-month plan to freeze the nuclear program and develop a more comprehensive longterm pact.
- Although the loya jirga approved the security deal, President Hamid Karzai is now rejecting their recommendation and insisting on further negotiation. He says he will sign the bilateral agreement if the US concedes to his two demands: immediate cessation of night raids and restarting peace talks with the Taliban.
- NATO to probe an airstrike that killed a two-year-old boy.
- Imran Khan’s political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party is claiming to have blown the cover on the identity of the top CIA officer in Pakistan.
- General Raheel Sharif is Pakistan’s new army chief, succeeding Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.
- Thousands of Pakistanis protested American drone strikes.
- China has declared a new air defense zone in the East China Sea, triggering a territory dispute with the US and Japan. It has sent warplanes to the zone.
- Canada allowed the NSA to conduct surveillance at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto.
- A video animation from The Guardian: NSA surveillance made simple.
- Blackwater founder Erik Prince gave a Philadelphia audience a taste of his opinions on the NSA and Benghazi, among other things.
- The Guardian collects stories of relatives who served in WWI.
- The Pentagon releases its Arctic strategy.
Betunia, West Bank. A Palestinian protester sets off a flare as students from Bir Zeit University clash with Israeli security forces. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images
Where Children Sleep by James Mollison
An eye-opening project that takes a look at children from all across the globe and the diverse environments they go to sleep in.
THAILAND, Bangkok : Thai opposition protesters (L) blow whistles as they face off with police deployed to guard the ruling Puea Thai party headquarters in Bangkok on November 29, 2013. Defiant Thai opposition protesters stormed the army headquarters and besieged Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party offices on November 29, intensifying their fight to bring down her government. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT
A Letter From the Beastie Boys To GoldieBlox:
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.
As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.
When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US. [+]
GoldieBlox looks like good product, but it sounds like a terrible company.