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Class 11, Language Development, Unit 9 Democracy and Human Rights

Class 11, Language Development, Unit 9 Democracy and Human Rights

Democracy and Human Rights

Inauguration speech of Nelson Mandela


At a Glance

·          Between 1948 and 1991, South Africans lived under a formal system of racial segregation and white supremacy known as apartheid.

·          Nelson Mandela (1918–2013), an anti-apartheid leader, was tried in 1963 for sabotage, treason, and conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was sentenced to life in prison.

·          Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement became celebrated causes outside of South Africa. Many nations condemned apartheid by imposing strict economic sanctions, which crippled the South African economy.

·          Negotiations for ending apartheid began in the 1980s, and Mandela was released from prison in 1990. In 1994 he was elected as South Africa's first black president.

·          In his inaugural speech Mandela appealed to all South Africans and called for reconciliation and nation-building instead of revenge.

·          Mandela wished to inspire black South Africans and reassure white people about the future of South Africa under black-majority rule. He presented a vision of justice and security for all.

·          Mandela stressed the common bonds of all South Africans, emphasizing love for the beautiful land they share.

·          Racial tensions in South Africa eased but were not erased during Mandela's presidency (1994–1999). Yet, Mandela's practical leadership helped the country avoid a racial civil war and led to the creation of a more inclusive and democratic nation.


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