Caribbean Labour Solidarity
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Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela

We mourn his passing. We remember his sacrifice. But the struggle goes on.

Nelson Mandela’s courageous opposition to South Africa’s vile apartheid regime in the 1950s and 1960s made him the world’s most famous political prisoner. He was a symbol of defiance against injustice.

Across the world the slogan "Free Nelson Mandela" was the cry of millions of people who might otherwise know little of international politics. But they understood that black people were the vast majority of the population in South Africa. And they knew apartheid was a system of vicious racial discrimination that had stripped black people of all their rights and denied them the vote. Mandela fought it and was imprisoned for fighting it and that is why he became such a symbol.

Mandela spoke out strongly against the Iraq war, against George Bush and Tony Blair’s imperialism and demanded action over Aids.

But today South Africa is the second most unequal country in the world. Two thirds of people live below the poverty line.

In September 1993 Mandela declared,
"How many times has the liberation movement worked together with workers and then at the moment of victory betrayed the workers? There are many examples of that in the world.
“It is only if the workers strengthen their organisation before and after liberation that you can win. If you relax your vigilance you will find that your sacrifices have been in vain.
“You just support the African National Congress only so far as it delivers the goods. If the ANC government does not deliver the goods, you must do to it what you have done to the apartheid regime."