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17 Pieces of Wisdom from Nelson Mandela that Everyone Needs to Read

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Photo released by South Africa The Good News under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Photo released by South Africa The Good News under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa and a Noble Peace Prize laureate, died on December 5, 2013 aged 95. Mandela spent 27 years in jail for his struggle against South Africa's system of racial segregation known as apartheid. Freed from prison in 1990, he became president four years later, and left office after serving only one term, a rare gesture in African politics.

The internationally beloved statesman had an impressive way with words. One of his most famous quotes comes from a defiant speech he made in court during his Rivonia treason trial in 1964, in which he said

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 live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Apart from his Rivonia trial speech, Mandela leaves behind many memorable and wise quotes made throughout his life. Despite his passing, he continues to speak to the world through Twitter users, who have reacted to news of his death by sharing his words.

On judgement:

On hate:

On forgiveness:

On sports:

On leadership:

On racism:

On determination:

On freedom:

On education:

On imprisonment:

On duty:

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