Rohani condoles with S. African president, nation on Mandela's demise

Tehran, Dec 6, IRNA – In a message addressed to the South African president, the Iranian President Hassan Rohani condoled with him and his nation on sad demise of the late iconic leader, Nelson Mandela.

'I was informed about the demise of the former president of the friend country, South Africa, his eminence Nelson Mandela to my great sorrow and deep grief,' the Iranian president wrote in the message to President Jacob Zuma.

'Nelson Mandela doubtlessly believed in freedom and equality of the human beings, not only in his country, but around the globe and never hesitated in this firm belief,' added Rohani.

'In this road that was abundant with ups and downs and filled with pain all along, including suffering homelessness, being away from home and family, and long periods of imprisonment, he gave meaning and spirit to the long road towards liberty gloriously,' He said.

'He was doubtlessly a unique personality who after achieving victory and bearing fruit of the campaign merged ethics with politics and tasted the sweet taste of forgiving, while not forgetting, and permitted even his prison keepers and those who had kept him behind bars to taste it,' added the Iranian president.

Rohani said that Mandela left a rarely precedence memory for the human beings around the globe and the miracle of his life was that he knew how he was engineering it.

'We are not only witnesses to the results of his wise policies in harmony among the races and their unity in efforts aimed at constructing the South Africa, but also to the precious results of that fully hopeful and joyous life that are sensed throughout the African continent in terms of achieving liberty and equality and uprooting the malicious traces which had remained from the colonialist and hegemonic eras, blowing wisdom and vivaciousness into the lives of the people,' he said.

The president in is message grievingly condoled with the South African president Mandela's bereaved family members, and the great South African nation, praying for the eternal peace of soul of that revered personality.

Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world's most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.

South African president Jacob Zuma made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday, saying, 'We've lost our greatest son.'

Mandela's death closed the final chapter in South Africa's struggle to cast off apartheid, leaving the world with indelible memories of a man of astonishing grace and good humor.

As South Africa's first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner No. 46664 paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness. He lunched with the prosecutor who sent him to jail, sang the apartheid-era Afrikans anthem at his inauguration, and traveled hundreds of miles to have tea with the widow of Hendrik Verwoerd, the prime minister at the time he was imprisoned.

Sport was a major part of Mandela's public life.

His most memorable gesture came when he strode onto the field before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg. When he came on the field in South African colors to congratulate the victorious South African team, he brought the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 to its feet, chanting 'Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!'

For he had marched headlong into a bastion of white Afrikanerdom -- the temple of South African rugby -- and made its followers feel they belonged in the new South Africa.

Mandela also helped seal his country's bid to become the first in Africa to host a World Cup.

Tragically, he kept a low profile during the 2010 World Cup after his great-granddaughter was killed in an automobile accident following a concert to kick off the opening night of the event.

After much anticipation and speculation that he would remain absent as his family continued to mourn the 13-year-old Zenani Mandela, he attended the World Cup's closing ceremonies amid a thunderous mix of vuvuzelas and roars from the crowd.

Thousands died, were tortured and were imprisoned in the decades-long struggle against apartheid, so that when Mandela emerged from prison in 1990, smiling and waving to the crowds, the image became an international icon of freedom to rival the fall of the Berlin Wall.

He denounced Bush as a warmonger and the US having 'committed unspeakable atrocities in the world.' When asked about his closeness to Fidel Castro and Moammar Gadhafi despite human rights violations in the countries they ruled, Mandela explained that he wouldn't forsake supporters of the anti-apartheid struggle.

His marriage to Winnie had fallen apart after his release and he was now married to Graca Machel, the widowed former first lady of neighboring Mozambique.

He is survived by Machel, his daughter Makaziwe by his first marriage, and daughters Zindzi and Zenani by his second.