Quotes: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, on June 2, 2009. Media24/Gallo Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"We are not anti-white, we are against white supremacy … we have condemned racialism no matter by whom it is professed."
Nelson Mandela, defence statement during the Treason Trial, 1961.

"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…"
Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.

"We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address, Pretoria 9 May 1994.

"Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual. We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties and the human rights of all our citizens."
Nelson Mandela, speech at the opening of the South African parliament, Cape Town 25 May 1994.

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered."
Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

"If we had any hopes or illusions about the National Party before they came into office, we were disabused of them quickly…The arbitrary and meaningless tests to decide black form Coloured or Coloured from white often resulted in tragic cases…Where one was allowed to live and work could rest on such absurd distinctions as the curl of one's hair or the size of one's lips."
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

"…the only [other] thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, Rolihlahla literally means 'pulling the branch of a tree', but its colloquial meaning more accurately would be 'troublemaker'."
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, 1994.

"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.

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Boddy-Evans, Alistair. "Quotes: Nelson Mandela." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/quotes-nelson-mandela-44276. Boddy-Evans, Alistair. (2020, August 26). Quotes: Nelson Mandela. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-nelson-mandela-44276 Boddy-Evans, Alistair. "Quotes: Nelson Mandela." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-nelson-mandela-44276 (accessed January 26, 2021).