Obama speaks on the death of Mandela

America’s first black president, Barack Obama, hailed Nelson Mandela on Thursday as a source of personal inspiration whose struggle against racism in South Africa jump-started his own involvement in politics.

REPORT BY REUTERS

Speaking in the White House press room shortly after the announcement of Mandela’s death, a somber-looking Obama said the 95-year-old former South African president left a legacy of freedom and peace.

US President Barack Obama makes remarks on the passing of former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela at the age of 95, at the White House in Washington, December 5, 2013. Picture: Reuters/Mike Theiler
US President Barack Obama makes remarks on the passing of former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela at the age of 95, at the White House in Washington, December 5, 2013.
Picture: Reuters/Mike Theiler

“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid,” Obama said.

“Like so many around the globe, 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,” he said.

Watch below:

View pictures of Obama’s recent visit to South Africa below:

 US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Cape Town, June 30, 2013. Picture: REUTERS/Jason Reed
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the University of Cape Town, June 30, 2013.
Picture: REUTERS/Jason Reed
US President Barack Obama (L) listens to Desmond Tutu as he visits his HIV Foundation Youth Centre and takes part in a health event with youth in Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
US President Barack Obama (L) listens to Desmond Tutu as he visits his HIV Foundation Youth Centre and takes part in a health event with youth in Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
US President Barack Obama stands in the Robben Island prison cell that Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment, near Capetown June 30, 2013. Picture: REUTERS/Gary Cameron
US President Barack Obama stands in the Robben Island prison cell that Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment, near Capetown June 30, 2013.
Picture: REUTERS/Gary Cameron
US President Barack Obama (3rd R), his daughters Malia (L), Sasha (2nd L obscured), First lady Michelle Obama, Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson (2nd R), and niece Leslie Robinson (R) view the exercise yard on Robben Island that Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment June 30, 2013, near Capetown. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
US President Barack Obama (3rd R), his daughters Malia (L), Sasha (2nd L obscured), First lady Michelle Obama, Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson (2nd R), and niece Leslie Robinson (R) view the exercise yard on Robben Island that Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment June 30, 2013, near Capetown. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
US President Barack Obama writes in a guest book as he tours Robben Island with First lady Michelle Obama near Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
US President Barack Obama writes in a guest book as he tours Robben Island with First lady Michelle Obama near Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A hand-written note by US President Barack Obama is pictured in a guest book as he tours Robben Island with First lady Michelle Obama near Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A hand-written note by US President Barack Obama is pictured in a guest book as he tours Robben Island with First lady Michelle Obama near Cape Town, June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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53 Comments

  1. Ana Barack

  2. daily news reporters! what does obama’s visits have to do with the death of mandela? shame pieace of reporting. does this paper hv an editor

    1. Ana green zidofo. this is newsday not daily news. nxaaa!

  3. Nedzoi dzaMandela asi;
    -Mandela failed to emancipate livelihoods of ordinary black South Africans live in abject poverty as shown by social index.
    -Nobel Peace Price for not changing status quo in favour of racist whites.
    -No black empowerment.
    -Mandela is one of those other leaders and not anywhere in the league of RG Mugabe who is a real African leader in the eyes of well oriented men.
    -Racism is still rife in RSA.

    1. Shame on you Changlong11! You cannot compare a dictator to the great statesman Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was. Zimbabweans live in abject poverty today, what did mugabe do to help our people? a big zero! All we have in Zimbabwe is a corrupt ruling elite that have taken from the nation to enrich themselves maybe you are one of them!

    2. Your madness knows no bounds, Changlong11. People are mourning a great statesman, Nelson Mandela, yet you keep pushing the name of a villain into the discussion. Mandela was a giant in every sense of the word and the same cannot be said about your friend RGM.

    3. true…………thats why they love him so much and hate my hero ,His Excellency CDE R.G Mugabe

    4. and so why do we have millions of “emancipated” zimbabweans having relocated to south africa and not even thousands or hundreds of south africans rushing to the liberated country of milk and honey up north?

    5. Changlong11, not only did Mugabe fail to improve livelihoods of black people, he made our lives worse than they were during Smith’s time. He killed 20 000 innocent people in Matebeleland. Zimbabweans are poorer than South Africans, that’s why they have flocked and continue to flock to that country to that country in search of a better life.

      Of course there is no comparison between Mandela and Mugabe. One, Nelson Mandela, worked to bring justice to all South Africans, another, Robert Mugabe worked tirelessly to pauperise his people and to make Zimbabwe one of the most corrupt countries on the planet. The whole world is mourning Mandela. Only shameless people like you do not see Mandela for what he stood for.

      1. Paranoia. Kuzozvipa chinese names kani lol. Ka bob kachingofA totopemberera coz atambudza a whole nation. Anyway this wecannot put ka bobo in the same sentence as tata.

    6. Ha ha ha ha u shud be a comedian lmaoooooooo. S.A. has more black millionaires than Zim. Shame ko ungaitei ko admiration sometimes comes out as hate and illusioned pra

  4. Where is your own report on the death of one of Africa’s iconic leaders. What a disgrace Newsday. We need to hear your own perspective, we already watched Obama on CNN, please mareporter, hazvidi hope izvi.

  5. You are not fighting anything, remove the sanctions and make Zimbabwe prosperous again. You do not want us to flourish, you are killing us with this sanctions. If you are a true fighter remove SANCTIONS and you be a hero the African Nations. Economic colonization, Economic Apartheid and all sort oppression against you administration. If you are a democratic nation remove sanctions and we are a tiny state, a drop in the ocean, but why are you killing us with these sanctions Mr Obama. I hope you have seen the struggle of a black man 27 years in prison, no freedom all in the hands of the oppressor. We will honor Madiba and other statesmen for the contribution and retribution their suffered in the hands of this horrible and terrifying imperialists. A LONG WALK TO FREEDOM……………….

    1. mamwe mazita soo kkkkkk haa shuwa hupenyumutoro..

  6. its surprising to say Mandela failed south africans,in what manner? South africa has never printed worthless money, its people are not flocking here to buy,we are producing graduates that become vendors ,we have become the shame of southern africa, stop writing lies

    1. Tell them, Bakwena for they know not what they are saying!

  7. @mawanza hope. i agree with u, this paper does nt hv analyst. just picks cnn and bbc.even in sport they do like wisw. noble peace prize is for traitors. R.G.MUGABE wil not even be shortlisted for this prize. south africans shld beg R.G.MUGABE for help if they want freedom

  8. R G Mugabe is not giving people freedom he is the only one with freedom hey

  9. i was listening to mandela words in 1994 NCA he said ” you can not talk of democracy when your people can not put food on their table ” Food fot thought

  10. @Bakwena I like your reasoning. Problem is you are talking to imbeciles like Changlong – its too complicated for them, but all the same, you make a good point

  11. Mandela gone and sadly mcd bt ppo stop talking shit bout him or mugabe koz dem a two different icons.long live president mugabe and rip madiba

  12. Mandela was a true statesman. Muchanzwa vegodo zvavachataura. He established a Truth & Reconciliation Commission muchokwadi. Asi vamwe havakwanise kuzviita.

    Basa rekungotuka chete. Nhasi murikuchema kuti masanctions, sanctions yet you once told them off that they should keep their PIECES OF SILVER. Mari yavo nhasi mavakuichemera.

    Tiitirei budget ra2014 kani.

    May Mandela’s soul rest in peace.

  13. Ko nhai Gushungo havasati vatumirawo mashoko enyaradzo here zvatirivavakidzani totangigwa here neveBritain neAmerica kutumira mashoko . Hurumende yeZANU taridzai rudo gwenyu sevan vemuAfrica asi zvimwe munofunga dai vachichemera imwi kahi . Pliz newsday takamirira kuti tihwe ZANU PF inoti chiivo nemunhu anodiwa neruzhinji . Kubva Cape to Cairo mashoko okurumbidziwa kwegamba arikunaya ndinovimba ZANU PF irikudzidza chose ukaisa rudo kuvanhu vako unova gambarepasirose asi mukaita zvekutevura ropa zvamakita kuna Chiminya ,Nabanyama , Chokuda , Kufazvineyi Zhou , Mai Chiroto unova mhandu yevanhu . ZANU PF chinjai maitiro kuti mugova noruremekedzo gusingaperi

    1. Mandela Not Hero

      Regai varungu vatange ivo kutumira mashoko enyaradzo sezvo varivo varikudya mafuta ayo South Africa apo vatema vachigara mumikuku vachidya ma GMO. Imi munoti rudo kubvisa mwana wemvana madziwa.

  14. newsday lets be serious, show us mandela pictures. kwete pictures of this tourist whilst we mourn this great statesman.

  15. go wel Madiba World Heroo …..African Father ……

  16. Lets mourn this man peacefully. Wy yo comments are political, each does his own thing. Its time to mourn mandela. Ngatikurei mupfungwa.

  17. Pope is the Antichrist

    he is gone and I feel sorry but this man allowed the Jews to manipulate him and up to this day South Africans have nothing to show for their independence.

  18. He was in office for only 5 years, that was very little time to do all these things that u think he was supposed to do. Mboko dzakazotevera ndidzo dzaifanirawo kuita zvaive zvasara.

  19. What exactly is this “black empowerment” according to the ZanuPF school of thought? Is it instantly changing a person who was a cleaner/teamaker in white ruled S Africa or Rhodesia into the Chief Executive of the company in black ruled S Africa or Zimbabwe? Or does it mean the new black government handing out large sums of money to each and every black person? The words “black empowerment” are loaded words which need the user to explain what exactly they mean because ZanuPF has tried making former teamakers and former crimnals into Chief Executives with disastrous consequences. And ZanuPF has tried to dish out money to some of their very vocal members (not to each and every black person) with disastrous consequences. By “disastrous consequences” I mean companies closing down at an alarming rate and the country experiencing a world record rate of inflation resulting in the country using multi-currencies. That is not progress by any definition.

  20. Where is my article admin?

  21. It is common knowledge all forces of darkness are against the global moral giants such as the iconic Senior prophet TB Joshua & the now late great Mandela.

  22. @ Rinamanyanga

    I couldn’t have put it better than you. Quite apt.

  23. Go well Madiba! A life dedicated to the welfare of fellow men. M.H.S.R.I.P.

  24. We do mourn Nelson Mandela, as a fellow African. The west is mourning Mandela too, but there are also many Africans who were never mourned by the west the way Mandela is mourned today. People like Samora Machel, Julius Nyerere etc. Is because Machel and Nyerere did more for fellow Africans than they did for westerners, whilst Mandela did more for the westerners than he did for the Africans? Hameno.

    1. Mandela Not Hero

      Thats a correct observation. Mandela did nothing for blacks but helped to preserve white supremacy. That is why whites and the western world loved him. Mandela sold out the struggle by agreeing to a settlement that favoured the boers

      1. @Mandela not hero- Mandela was in office for 5 years and if you look at our case in the first five years we had General Peter Walls as commander of the armed forces and Peter Allum as head of the police..this stemmed from reconcilliation which the then prime minister announced..A policy which was cheered on by the world..Remember the then PM got a knighthood for this and other policies as well What does this make him?

      2. If he did nothing why do we now have more than 3 million Zimbabweans now living in SA? Why are they better of in that country than they were in Zim?

      3. What about the Lancaster House agreement for Zimbabwe???

    2. If I am not mistaken, the Queen of the UK attended the burial of Nyerere in person..Nyerere like Mandela is recognised worldwide as a great leader. Mandela by ruling for only one term set the agenda for what half of Africa is practising today..making sure that no leader stays welded to high office but serve a maximum two terms and with this our democratic credntials as a continent are growing in leaps and bounds because of this! No sir, you cant touch this Madiba guy, he is too high and too big a star!

    3. Correction Mandela mourned all thosegreatleaders and yes Africa mourned all them great leaders. There is no such thing as equal love and that is just life people, Mandela did what he had to do and improved the lives of southafricans and africans alike i.e. look at howmany people are making a good living in s.a. Who are non.south africans. Hanzi kusatenda huroyi.

  25. The green machine

    Mandela served five years; apartheid and colonialism had been around for over hundred years. How do you changed hundred years over five years?

    Mugabe has been in power for 34 years; the country is worse off than it was under colonialism. Zimbabweans have fled the country!

  26. The green machine

    Inferiority complex and a sense of guilt is what makes the ZANU PFers to keep pushing Mugabe’s name whenever they hear Mandela’s name mentioned!!

  27. just wondering why not even one African leader has learnt from this great statesman.
    Shame on African leaders shame.

  28. May Mandela’s soul rest in peace. All we ask is that his soul prepares the place for the coming of a really troubled African soul!

  29. Obama said it best. Mandela said use the freedom u have to free and better others. Had a bit of self reflection today dzimwe nguva we tooabsorbed into revenge yet we can be better people. Hate breeds more hate, he set a great example at times when u set a goal and achieve it siira vamwe to do better and share that responsibility.

  30. Flag flying at half mast at the Whitehouse, at No 10 Downing Street, UN offices. A moment of silence at the New York Stock exchange, at the African Heads of state meeting, at the 2nt test cricket in Adelaide – surely that is a legacy that speaks volumes about the man’s life. Love or hate him – the man achieved something that many African leaders can only dream of. Go well Mr. President – that was a life well lived. All those ZPF haters throwing dirt at him – it doesnt help – the record speaks for itself.

  31. @skuzapo.. Very well said, i think yrs is the best comment yet. This was a great man. When i heard about flags being flown @ half mast @ the white house etc it gave me goose bumps! This is sumone who exemplified the reason why God created man in the first place.. To serve Him and to serve others. All those who are rantin on about sanctions, black empowerment etc shud jus get over yourselves. I wonder why fellow africans haven’t been so upfront in celebrating the life of madiba.. Even the chinese president had remarkable words to say about him, yet here we hve people who keep tryin to bring RGM into the stori, as if they can even compare. Oh and then on another issue, those people who are shoutin @ newsday for havin fotos of obama and “for not researchin the article” blah blah, well hello!!..look @ the title of the article!

  32. the very day he walked out of the prison gate Madiba notes his realisation that if he did not leave behind his bitterness and hatred he would still be in prison. vana Bob vakangonyorerwa kaspeech kereconcilliation asi mumwoyo zvisimo.Look at his hate for karangas even from his party dates back to gomba rokumoskeni. RIP MADIBA

  33. people who were brainwashed by Mugabe’s self serving propaganda vanoshupa stereki. they are not even ashamed of displaying their ignorance and foolishness in public. what they dont know is that even mugabe pachezvake knows he is nowhere near mandela’s stature and could only envy to be like him. one day zimbabwe will need to be cleansed of these morons.

  34. people who were brainwashed by Mugabe’s self serving propaganda vanoshupa stereki. they are not even ashamed of displaying their ignorance and foolishness in public. what they dont know is that even mugabe pachezvake knows he is nowhere near mandela’s stature and could only envy to be like him. one day zimbabwe will need to be cleansed of these morons. rest in peace baba.

  35. people who were brainwashed by mugabe’s self serving propaganda vanoshupa stereki. they are not even ashamed of displaying their ignorance, little knowledge and foolishness in public. what they dont know is that mugabe wacho pachezvake knows he isn’t anywhere near mandela’s stature but could only envy and wished he was like him. zimbabwe one day will need to be cleansed of such morons.

    REST IN PEACE BABA MANDELA, OUR CHAMPION, OUR LEADER, OUR TEACHER, OUR GREAT INSPIRATION

  36. We have lost a great leader. Great teacher. Unifier . Inspire. Every thing. Africa is crying .we lost

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