Nelson Mandela - a name known by people across the world. His name is one that still instills hope and he embodied what freedom meant.
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On this day, 28 years ago, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela made history when he was sworn in as South Africa’s first democratic president. Briefly News celebrates the historic day and Madiba’s legacy by taking a look at five powerful photos of his inauguration on 10 May, 1994.
Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk at Inaugural Ceremonies
Until his last breath, Nelson Mandela was dedicated towards reconciling South Africans. One of his very first acts as the country’s first democratic head of state showed how much Mandela desired a united nation. Instead of harbouring hate towards the previous regime who imprisoned him, Mandela appointed his predecessor as SA’s deputy president at his inauguration.
Nelson Mandela‘s decision to appoint F.W. de Klerk as his second in command was the ultimate example of forgiveness. De Klerk also played an integral part in Madiba’s release from prison before he was elected the first democratic leader.
In 1990, De Klerk made his famous Parliamentary opening address and followed up with a move to release important political prisoners and to lift the bans on the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania and the African National Congress.
According to Britannica.com, after releasing the political prisoners, De Klerk met with black leaders and his Government passed legislation in 1991 that repealed racially discriminatory laws.
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Mandela repaid de Klerk by appointing him the deputy president of SA. A photo that was taken on the day of Madiba’s inauguration shows Mandela and his daughter congratulating de Klerk on his election of deputy president of the first democratic government.
Take a look at the photo below:
Nelson Mandela takes the oath
Nelson Mandela took an oath to devote himself to the well-being of all South Africans.
Take a look at a quote from his oath below:
Take a look at the photo of Mandela taking the oath:
Nelson Mandela documenting his new presidential status
After swearing to serve the people of Mzansi, Nelson Mandela was photographed signing the register to cement his election as president.
Take a look at the photo below:
Nelson Mandela delivers his first speech as the sworn in president of South Africa
At every presidential inauguration, the newly-elected head of state is expected to deliver an address informing the country of their vision going forward.
Nelson Mandela was no different. According to the government’s website, Mandela was quoted saying:
“Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty.”
”We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the million of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”
Read Mandela’s full speech here.
Prominent attendees at Mandela’s inauguration
Nelson Mandela’s election as president attracted attention around the world. It was one of the most historic and inspiring elections of all time. Unsurprisingly, world leaders and prominent global public figures showed up to support Madiba at his inauguration.
Here are some of the notable names who attended the historic event, as reported by AP News in 1994:
- Vice President Al Gore, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and the Rev. Jesse Jackson
- U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
- Prince Philip, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Archbishop Trevor Huddleston from Britain
- Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat
- Cuba President Fidel Castro
- South African Nobel laureate author Nadine Gordimer
- Musician and producer Quincy Jones
- South African singer Miriam Makeba
- Prince of Orange, Willem Alexander of the Netherlands
- Israel President Ezer Weizman
- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
- Kenya President Daniel arap Moi
- Former Australian prime ministers Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser
Nelson Mandela remains a symbol of hope till this day
This day, 10 May, serves as a reminder of how far South Africa has come as a country. Nelson Mandela is a timeless symbol of hope who represents how forgiveness can bring forth reconciliation and change. South Africans, and the world, will forever remember how Mandela soent his life fighting for freedom.
Source: Briefly News