World Leaders Mourn the Death of Nelson Mandela

U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the nation Thursday after the death of Nelson Mandela, heralding South Africa’s inspirational freedom fighter: “[Mandela] no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages.” “Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us,” Obama said. “His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better.” Mandela’s achievement was of great personal significance to Obama, who said his first political action was a protest against apartheid. “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 their fears,” Obama said. “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.” Obama praised Mandela’s personal modesty, reiterating what the man known affectionately as Madiba himself insisted: “I’m not a saint, unless you think that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.” Obama added that the South African leader “set an example that all humanity could aspire to.” “For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived,” the President said. “A man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.” Many other world leaders mourned the former South African president as well. South African President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death. “Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity, earned him their love,” he said in a televised address. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was very close with Mandela, said “all of us are living in a better world because of the life of Madiba,” and that he “proved that a big heart is better than a……….

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