DSA mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, a democratic fighter for freedom, on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was 95.
Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned for his beliefs and leading the mass struggle against apartheid. This struggle came to full fruition in the mass student and trade union revolts of the 1970s and 1980 -- as well as through the work of the exiled ANC leadership; the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonte we Sizwe; and the international movement for global economic sanctions against the apartheid regime.
Mandela stressed the importance of building mass organizations with numerous rank-and-file leaders. After his election to president he promoted reconciliation between the different people of his country. Mandela remains an international icon for freedom and racial justice.
Mandela also recognized that South Africa could never achieve full emancipation for the African majority without radical redistribution of wealth and power. That effort must continue, if the legacy of this great revolutionary leader is to be realized.
“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” –Nelson Mandela, 1918 - 2013