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Sikorski: "Nelson Mandela titan of the 20th century"

6th December 2013
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Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95

Mr Mandela was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Former South African president Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg on Thursday night at the age of 95. He had been struggling with a lung infection for several months.

Mr Mandela was the first black president of the African country, an office he held between 1994 and 1999.

Speaking to journalists in Ukraine, Poland's Foreign Minister Radosław Siskorski said that Nelson Mandela was a “one of the titans of the 20th century.”

“Everyone who has fought for freedom ... including us Poles, understand who this great man was for Africa and the whole world,” Mr Sikorski added.

Mr Mandela began his political career in 1940s. For his work as an anti-apartheid revolutionary he was sentenced in 1962 to five years in prison. Two years later, his sentence was extended to life imprisonment. Mr Mandela spent 27 years in prison before he was released in 1990.

After his release he led negotiations with South Africa's president at the time, F.W. de Klerk, which resulted in the abolition of apartheid.

Mr Mandela was elected president in the first multiracial elections in 1994. His government focused on dismantling apartheid by targeting institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, as well fostering racial reconciliation.

For his extraordinary work he was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Poland A.M.

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