On this Day — Nelson Mandela Quits (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)

Mandela visiting Megrahi — aka the ‘Lockerbie bomber’ — in prison. Many thanks to my friend John Ashston who took the picture.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. Follow us on Twitter:~@INTEL_TODAY

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Among his many other achievements, Nelson Mandela played a significant and honourable part in the Lockerbie affair.

On Sunday July 24 2011,  huge crowds greeted Nelson Mandela as he travelled from South Africa to meet Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

 He met the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing in 2002 on a diplomatic excursion to see how he was being treated.

The former president of South Africa also discussed a campaign for Megrahi to serve his sentence in a Libyan prison.

Everyone who has met Mandela speaks of his kindness, gentleness and good manners.

His visit to Gaddafi’s Cafe, the nickname given to the area of Barlinnie where Megrahi was held, underlined the humanity of the man.

After all, Mandela himself spent 18 of his 27 years in jail on Robben Island after being locked up by the South Africa’s apartheid government.

Most of the crowd hoping to meet him were positioned around the reception and the main gates. Everyone on the staff wanted a glimpse of the great man. The wellwishers were rows deep.

But as he passed through the throng, Mandela stopped, looked to the edge of the crowd and spotted a young prison officer right at the back.

He said: “You sir, step down here.”

When the officer got to the front, Mandela shook his hand, giving him a moment he would never forget.

Mandela remarked that he, too, knew what it was like to be at the back row and not noticed.

The great leader then went inside to meet Megrahi.

But he declined an offer to visit the cell blocks.

Mandela had seen enough to last a lifetime.

In my opinion, Mandela was the most honourable politician of our time. Whenever I will find the time and the energy, I will tell you a few anecdotes…

But, without going into the details, I can already tell you this. When Mandela met Bill Clinton for the first time, he discovered that the US President had not been told the truth about Lockerbie by the CIA.  Bill was in for a shock. Yes, You read this right. Stay tuned…

REFERENCES

RIP Nelson Mandela — The Lockerbie Case

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On this Day — Nelson Mandela Quits (December 5 2013)

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