December 7, 2013 |
In his lifetime, Nelson Mandela achieved almost mystical stature as the liberation hero turned national reconciler who helped transform South Africa from repressive white rule to a vibrant all-race democracy. But as Los Angeles Times correspondent Robyn Dixon writes, Mandela was never comfortable wearing the mantle of a saint . He could be irritable, stubborn, aloof and was known to flirt with any pretty young woman he met. The renowned peacemaker also embraced armed struggle to end the racist system of apartheid, persuading the leaders of the African National Congress to abandon their longstanding policy of nonviolence and form a secret military wing.
July 9, 2013 |
PRETORIA, South Africa -- Nelson Mandela remains in a critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria, but one of his grandsons said Tuesday that the former president of South Africa was responsive and "very much alive. " Ndaba Mandela urged people to celebrate his grandfather's life as the elder statesman approaches his 95th birthday on July 18. "It's time to celebrate his life," he said. "The old man is very much alive. " He said his grandfather was aware when friends and family were there.
December 5, 2013 |
Twenty-three years ago, for barely 24 hours, Nelson Mandela visited Los Angeles. It was 1990, and he had been a free man for only a handful of months, but he had been a symbol for years -- of endurance, of the black-and-white apartheid battle in South Africa. He was not yet a Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, not yet the president of the new post-apartheid South Africa. But in his 10 days in the United States, he was welcomed at the White House by President George H.W. Bush. Vice President Dan Quayle called him “a symbol of freedom.” A joint session of Congress gave him 15 standing ovations in a 33-minute speech.
December 5, 2013 |
Nelson Mandela was, quite famously, a fan of European classical music. His two favorite composers were George Frideric Handel and Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, but he grew up exposed to the country's rich tradition of vocal groups forging a unique form of sacred rhythm music. That changed while the former South African president and longtime democratic activist was imprisoned by the pro-apartheid government from 1962 to 1990. He wasn't allowed access to music. Artists, however, used Mandela's jailing to fuel global protest songs, and during his years in captivity, Mandela's messages were delivered on the wings of rhythm and melody.
June 30, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- A family dispute over the burial site for Nelson Mandela's three deceased children deepened Sunday, as the former South African president remained in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital with a recurring lung infection. Mandela's controversial grandson, Mandla, chief of the Mvezo area in the Eastern Cape Province, announced that he planned to fight a court order for the return of the bodies to their original resting place in Qunu, the village where the elder Mandela grew up and later retired.
June 29, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - President Obama, asked how Nelson Mandela's illness might alter a much-anticipated visit to South Africa, paused for a long moment, bit his lip and spoke slowly. "We'll see what the situation is when we land," the president told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew Friday from Senegal to South Africa on the third day of his Africa tour. The deliberation in Obama's comments reflected the White House's cautious approach to the diplomatic predicament: How to be a good guest when your host is preparing for loss and distracted by sadness.