“Nelson Mandela was a leader not only for his own country but also for the whole world. He was the greatest symbol of hope, freedom and democracy of our time. We will remember him for his struggle against apartheid, his work for reconciliation, and his important effort in the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS. Now, Mr Mandela is no longer with us, but his values will live on,” said Ms Solberg.
Nelson Mandela was the most important leader in the struggle against the brutal apartheid regime. In 1990, he was released from prison, where he had spent 27 years as a political prisoner, much of this time under degrading and inhuman conditions. He led the ANC wisely during the difficult negotiations that led to South Africa becoming a democracy. In recognition of this work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. In 1994, he became the first democratically elected President of South Africa.
“Mr Mandela demonstrated personal integrity, wisdom and great statesmanship. This, together with his generosity of spirit and willingness and ability to contribute to reconciliation, won him the respect not only of his supporters but also of his opponents. It is difficult to think of anyone who has influenced thinking on political leadership and reconciliation more than he has,” said Ms Solberg.