Mandela and the American Colonel
Nelson Mandela met briefly last year with American Colonel, Earl Reginald Stevenson
New York, NY (I-Newswire) December 7, 2013 - Nelson Mandela met briefly last year with American Colonel, Earl Reginald Stevenson.
Nelson Mandela was considered one of the world's most revered statesmen, who led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime with a multi-racial democracy.
Jailed for 27 years, he emerged to become the country's first black president and to play a leading role in the drive for peace in other spheres of conflict. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
His charisma, self-deprecating sense of humor and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment, as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal. Since stepping down as president in 1999, Mr. Mandela has become the country's highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country's right to host the 2010 football World Cup.
Flags were lowered to half-staff, a dozen doves were released into the sky, and crowds of South Africans gathered at make shift shrines Friday to mourn the loss of their former president, Nelson Mandela, the man many considered the father of that nation.
Tributes continued to pour in from world leaders and ordinary citizens for the former Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid leader, who died Thursday at the age of 95. President Jacob Zuma, said Mandela, known affectionately by his clan name "Madiba" had died "peacefully" at around 8:50 p.m. while in the company of his family.
He spent almost three months in a Pretoria hospital after being admitted in June with a recurring lung infection from which he never recovered. Mandela was then discharged in September and received home-based medical attention.
Hours after his death Thursday night, a black SUV-type vehicle containing Mandela's coffin, draped in South Africa's flag, pulled away from Mandela's home after midnight, escorted by military motorcycle outriders, to take the body to a military morgue in Pretoria, the capital.
Outside the Soweto home where Mandela once lived, and the Johannesburg home where he died, residents danced and sang tribal songs, the African national anthem, and Christian hymns. Others left flowers, candles, and signs in makeshift shrines. South African citizens in black townships, rural grasslands, and upscale mostly white suburbs commemorated Mandela with tears and prayers Friday, while pledging to adhere to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.
President Zuma ordered all flags to fly at half -staff until Mandela is laid to rest at his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Dec. 15. Sunday marks a national day of prayer and reflection, and a memorial service is to be held on Tuesday at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium. Mandela's last public appearance was at the same stadium in 2010 for the closing ceremony of the soccer World Cup.
Mandela's body will then lie in state in Pretoria for three days. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be among the many leaders and dignitaries from around the world expected to travel to South Africa to pay their respects to the former president.
Earl Reginald Stevenson is a commissioned Colonel and member of Mensa. He is also a close friend of actor, Johnny Depp and a direct descendant of John Stevenson, one of the first settlers at Jamestown, Virginia. Stevenson was recently nominated for The Order of the British Empire to be bestowed by Her Majesty, The Queen. Stevenson is also a well-known friend of the late David Carradine and Jan-Michael Vincent. Stevenson also holds a coveted Kukkiwon 4th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo.
Source: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 107 Central Street, Houghton, 2198 Telephone: +27 (0)11 547 5600 Contact: Fox Media Inc., email@example.com
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Published On:December 7, 2013
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