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12 May, 2023 14:11

South Africans hail Mandela’s legacy in ending apartheid

Locals say the efforts of the former leader and support from the Soviet Union helped to end the all-white political system
South Africans hail Mandela’s legacy in ending apartheid

Nelson Mandela was a true leader who articulated the interests of the oppressed, South Africans told RT as they hailed the former president’s legacy and the Soviet Union for ending the country’s decades-long apartheid regime.

According to locals who spoke to RT on May 10 as Pretoria celebrated the 29th anniversary of Nelson Mandela becoming president, he was “very inspirational,” particularly in bringing the country together.

Nelson Mandela made so many changes… But just bringing all the people together, all races, shapes, colors and sizes,” one person said, with another adding that “Today black people and white people can work in the same companies. We can share the same positions, could go to the same schools and study the same course.”

South African poet Zolani Mkiva expressed his displeasure at how many people chose to ignore the nation’s struggle against apartheid. “In the West, the political administration of the United States of America never supported our struggle. Our struggle was supported by the USSR. The USSR was the greatest supporter of that struggle,” he told RT.

The Apartheid era in South Africa, which lasted from 1948 to 1994, was a system of racial segregation implemented by the all-white government. It enforced policies that discriminated against non-white South Africans. Nelson Mandela, who passed away in 2013, became the first democratically elected president of South Africa and the first black person to hold the position. After being imprisoned for 27 years on charges of sabotage, he was released and eventually elected president.