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Friends, Comrades and fellow South Africans. I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.
Whether we are Europeans, whether we are Asians, whether we are Africans, or Australians, or Americans, we are all one because of our shared common human values based on the belief that we have the right to the birth right of every human being which is a dignified and secure existence.
While the enslavement of African Americans was an unavoidable historical fact, so was the historical record of their courage in the face of mortal danger, their strength before seemingly insurmountable odds, their faith when confronted with conditions that had driven others to faithless despair, and their evocation of beauty and genius under oppressive circumstances that did not encourage either.
To say of the traditional African thinker that he is interested in supernatural rather than natural causes makes little more sense... than to say of the physicist that he is interested in nuclear rather than natural causes. In fact, both are making the same use of theory to transcend the limited vision of natural causes provided by common sense.
I join with people of all races worldwide in mourning the death of this great lion of African liberation, but celebrating his magnificent life of service to the cause of freedom, human rights and justice for all humanity. Nelson Mandela's life and leadership exemplified the highest courage, dignity and dedication to human liberation. His name will always resonate in my heart, as it does in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. His death marks the end of an era, when leaders of unsurpassed courage and integrity walked among us.
Whenever I ask about Pepsi-Cola or Coca-Cola, people immediately say it is an American or European drink. This is not true. The kola is African. They have taken the cheap raw material from us. They produced it, they made it into a drink, and they sell it to us for a high price. Why are Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola expensive? Because they have taken our kola, produced it, and sold it back to us. We should produce it ourselves and sell it to them.
Africa makes a mockery of what we say, at least what I say, about equality and questions our pieties and our commitments because there's no way to look at what's happening over there and it's effect on all of us and conclude that we actually consider Africans as our equals before God. There is no chance.
The difference between the revolutionary and the terrorist lies in the reason for which each fights. For whoever stands by a just cause and fights for the freedom and liberation of his land from the invaders, the settlers and the colonialists cannot possibly be called terrorist, otherwise the American people in their struggle for liberation from the British colonialists would have been terrorists; the European resistance against the Nazis would be terrorism, the struggle of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples would also be terrorism, and many of you who are in this Assembly hall were considered terrorists.
There's an old African proverb that says "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We have to go far — quickly. And that means we have to quickly find a way to change the world's consciousness about exactly what we're facing, and why we have to work to solve it.