Obama’s inauguration recalls joy of 1994 election: MandelaJanuary 21st, 2009 - 5:30 am ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, Jan 21 (DPA) Former South African president Nelson Mandela congratulated Barack Obama on his inauguration as the first black president of the US and said the historic event reminded him of the excitement that surrounded his own election as his country’s first democratically-elected president.In a letter handed to Obama shortly before his inauguration Tuesday, the 90-year-old iconic leader of Africa said: “There is a special excitement on our continent today, Mister President, in the knowledge that you have such strong personal ties with Africa, we share in that excitement and pride.”
“You will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and to pursue that dream,” the anti-apartheid hero said.
Lamenting the sense of hopelessness that gripped many parts of the world in the face of conflict and persistent injustice, Mandela praised Obama for bringing “a new voice of hope”.
Obama’s inauguration reminded him of his own emotional swearing-in as South Africa’s first post-apartheid president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for resisting prejudice.
“People, not only in our country, but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort, injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved,” he said.
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Tags: affection, barack obama, better life, dpa, first black president, hopelessness, human effort, inauguration, injustice, jan 21, johannesburg, mister president, nelson mandela, new voice, personal ties, post apartheid, prejudice, president nelson mandela, south african president, voice of hope