Libmonster ID: UK-1318


On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela - the greatest political figure of modern times, the first black president of the Republic of South Africa, an outstanding human rights activist, a passionate opponent of apartheid, who for decades stubbornly defended his beliefs and forever left a memory of himself not only in Africa, but also in the United States-died in Johannesburg at the age of 95. peoples of the whole world.

A meeting held at the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences on December 18 was dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela, which was attended by prominent African scientists, ambassadors of several African countries, diplomats, journalists, and members of the public.

Opening the meeting, Academician A. M. Vasiliev, Director of the Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that Nelson Mandela is certainly one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. His achievements go beyond his great contribution to the fight against racial inequality and the significant progress made by the Republic of South Africa during the presidency of Mandela (1994-1999). It is important to emphasize that he demonstrated great personal qualities, first of all-great dignity as a leader and as a person, and he put the interests of his people much higher than personal ambitions. He effectively prevented a possible civil war in South Africa, showing by personal example that the interests of the country and its people (and he considered all South Africans, regardless of skin color, to be his people) can and should prevail over a sense of revenge for humiliations and insults inflicted in the past. He suffered the most difficult trials - he suffered a 27-year prison sentence. After returning to active political activity, he was elected President of South Africa.

At the end of his speech, A. M. Vasiliev said that the Institute of Africa employs a number of scientists who personally knew Nelson Mandela, and gave the floor to V. G. Shubin, adding that " Vladimir Gennadievich is one of the few foreigners who has been awarded the Order of Companions of Oliver Tambo, one of the highest distinctions in South Africa."

V. G. Shubin-Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, chief researcher of the Institute and Honorary Doctor of the University of the Western Cape of South Africa, who as an employee of the Soviet Committee of Solidarity of Asian and African Countries (SCSSAA), and then the International Department of the Central Committee was engaged in relations with the African National Congress (ANC).

In his opinion, it is correct to talk about the merits of Mandela - as the first African president-and his party, the ANC, in eliminating apartheid by political means, but we should not forget that this opportunity has emerged as a result of several decades of liberation struggle in various forms, including armed ones.

V. G. Shubin shared his impressions of personal meetings with N. Mandela. The first such meeting took place in July 1999 during the first congress of the African National Congress after the ban was lifted. And when we talked, he said, " We wouldn't be where we are now if it wasn't for the Soviet Union's help."

Now US President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron are declaring Mandela's important role in world history. But it is worth recalling that it was the leaders of these countries who once did everything to prevent the African National Congress from coming to power. And against this background, Russia has something to be proud of.

Unfortunately, the coming to power of the ANC coincided with a difficult period in the life of our country, and this directly affected relations with South Africa and relations with Mandela. He was released from prison in February 1990, but only in 1999 was he able to come to Moscow.

V. G. Shubin stressed that Mandela always noted with gratitude the role of our country in the liberation of South Africa, and advocated strengthening ties and expanding cooperation between South Africa and Russia.

According to A. B. Davidson, Academician, Head of the Center for African Studies of the IVI RAS, who later spoke, he is also a knight of the " Order of the spo-

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The great significance of the figure of N. Mandela in modern history is shown by the fact that such leaders who stand on opposite political positions as Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama gave an exceptionally high assessment of his activities. Many believe that Mandela's personality is comparable to that of Mahatma Gandhi.

One of the main achievements of Nelson Mandela, A. B. Davidson emphasized, is that he proved in practice that even very complex inter-racial, inter-religious and inter-ethnic contradictions can be resolved by peaceful means, based on the principles of democracy. He never tired of repeating, addressing both black and white citizens of South Africa: let's forget our previous grievances, let's build the country's life "from scratch". The way Mandela was able to reconcile warring parties, put out conflicts, and achieve reasonable compromises is extremely relevant and instructive, including for political and public figures in our country.

Mandela insisted that all South Africans participate in solving the cardinal issues of South African life.

A. B. Davidson stressed that Mandela has always shown interest in our country, and he welcomed the establishment of the Center for Russian Studies in Cape Town in 1994. Russian scientists also participated in its work. The circle of scientific and public interests of the center was very wide; for example, the entire history of relations between Russia and South Africa was thoroughly studied there.

In his political activities, Nelson Mandela has always shown high morals and integrity. It is often recalled in South Africa that he voluntarily refused to run for a second term at the end of a legally defined five-year presidential term, convinced, and publicly declared, that it was time to make way for a new generation of leaders.

Personally, Nelson Mandela had great charisma and charm. He was able to attract the attention of the interlocutor and win his sympathy literally after a few minutes of conversation.

"I believe," A. B. Davidson concluded his speech, " that in our time any country in the world would agree to be led by a leader with the same qualities as Nelson Mandela.

At the end of his speech, he presented the South African Ambassador with the book "The Hidden Thread" (I. I. Filatova, A. B. Davidson) about relations between Russia and South Africa, which had just been published in Johannesburg.

Doyen of the African Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Madagascar to Russia Eloi Alphonse Maxime Duvoux spoke at the meeting, who gave the highest assessment of Nelson Mandela's activities and emphasized his great authority in the international arena.

A lengthy speech by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to the Russian Federation Bongani Mabu-to Mpahlua was listened to with interest. He spoke in detail about the role of N. Mandela in building a democratic society in the country, about the great authority that he enjoyed among the people of South Africa and many other states of the continent, and also cited numerous vivid episodes from the life of Nelson Mandela (the full text of the speech of the South African Ambassador will be published in one of the next issues of the magazine " Asia and Africa today").

The meeting was also attended by the former head of the group of Soviet military specialists at the ANC in Angola, V. F. Shiryaev (there he was called "Comrade Ivan" at that time) - another knight of the "Order of Companions of Oliver Tambo".

Doctor of Historical Sciences V. N. Tetekin, a former employee of the SCSSAA, now a member of the State Duma, said that the name of Nelson Mandela will forever remain among the outstanding politicians of our time. In his opinion, when the Soviet Union at the head of the socialist camp gained equal political and military power with the United States and its allies, anti-colonial revolutions began in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The era of great upheavals produced great leaders on these continents: Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh, Mahatma Gandhi in Asia, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Latin America, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yasser Arafat in the Middle East. Africa, too, has produced a leader comparable in caliber to these legendary figures. It was Nelson Mandela.

V. N. Tetekin reminded that Nelson Mandela, a sincere friend of our country, was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1990, but he was able to receive this high award only in 2000. Speaking at the award ceremony, Mandela highlighted the role of the Soviet Union and its allies in helping the ANC. In his words: "The governments and peoples of the socialist camp have provided material, moral and political support to our struggle in a form and on a scale for which we are deeply indebted."

At the end of the meeting dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela, A. M. Vasiliev expressed confidence that the memory of this remarkable man will be preserved in a renewed Russia.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the African diplomatic corps in Moscow, including the embassies of Namibia, Mauritania, Morocco, Tanzania, Egypt, etc., as well as representatives of the press-ITAR-TASS, the Voice of Russia broadcasting company, etc.



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