"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964. Also repeated during the closing of his speech delivered in Cape Town on the day he was released from prison 27 years later, on 11 February 1990.
I have no wise words to describe how I feel having heard the sad news tonight. I was there, 20 years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I felt a real sense of optimism about our country and it was a proud day when he became president in 1994.
I can only hope and pray that this incredible man's ideals will remain strong in the hearts of all South Africans as we bow our heads in respect to him.
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika