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TOPIC: nelson mandela

This Happened

This Happened — May 10: Mandela Sworn In

Nelson Mandela was sworn into the presidency at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa on this day in 1994.

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This Happened — April 27: First Democratic Election In South Africa

South African citizens of all races were allowed to vote in a general election for the first time on April 27, 1994. This was the first democratic election in South Africa after the end of the apartheid system.

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This Happened - February 11: Walk To Freedom

Nelson Mandela was released from prison on this day in 1990.

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South African Parliament Fire Raises Deeper Questions About Democracy

It took firefighters nearly three days to extinguish the blaze at the historic building in Cape Town, and the damage will persist as South Africans try to figure out how this happened, and what it says about the country’s struggle to reinforce its young democracy.

That the devastating fire at South Africa’s parliament building broke out in Cape Town on Sunday — one day after anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu's funeral was held nearby — only adds to the anguish of a nation struggling to reinforce its democracy nearly three decades after its first free elections.

Since the blaze was finally extinguished for good on Tuesday, South Africans have been debating the ramifications of the fire that tore through the 150-year-old building, laying waste to the wood-paneled assembly where the president makes his annual state-of-the-nation address.

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De Klerk’s Death: How South Africa Saw Its Last White President

Having shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, former President Frederik Willem de Klerk was largely credited with courageous leadership and a key role in dismantling apartheid. But his legacy, both before and after the transition, is decidedly mixed.

Mourned, derided, in equal measure…

Since South Africa's last white ruler Frederik Willem de Klerk died at his home in Cape Town on Thursday at the age of 85, the reactions of South Africans have mirrored the contradictions that characterized de Klerk's political life.

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Jillian Deutsch

Big Palestinian News Doesn't Even Make Front Page Nowadays

The most charismatic living Palestinian leader launches a massive hunger strike from his prison cell and the pages of The New York Times: In another time, it would have been front-page news around the world.

Deutsche Welle reports that between 1,100 and 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began Sunday to forgo food to demand access to phones, improved medical services and extended visiting rights for families. Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti called for the movement in an op-ed in the New York Times, in which he called Israel's prisons — which hold about 6,500 Palestinians — "the cradle of a lasting movement for Palestinian self-determination."

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For Colombia, Mandela's Hard Lessons Of Peace And Reconciliation

What does Mandela's example mean for Colombia as it seeks to end decades of bloody conflict with leftist guerrillas?


BOGOTA — The world has been unanimous in expressing grief for the loss of the singular human being who was Nelson Mandela. A tireless fighter for racial and social equality and tolerance, the South African icon was immense as a leader and simple as a person — he was, in short, one of those rare historical figures who come along once a century, leaving behind a political legacy as an example to us all.

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Christian Putsch

After Mandela, South African Economy In The Balance

JOHANNESBURG – When Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president 19 years ago, he proclaimed that South Africa was entering "a covenant" to create a society that guaranteed human rights for both blacks and whites, "a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95, believed throughout his life that such a society was possible. He helped to lay its foundations, which remain solid despite all current and future problems. South Africa now has a diversified economy, an impressive infrastructure in its large cities, a functioning justice system and a free press.

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Mandela's Death: World Tour Of What People Are Saying

Around the world, famous and regular folk alike are mourning Nelson Mandela, as South Africa prepares for a 10-day commemoration. Here's a selection of reactions from heads of state to a certain former heavyweight champ to the people of his nation, to as the world says goodbye to the father of South African democracy and a prophet for the ages.

(photo: Peter Kollanyi/London News Pictures/ZUMA)