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General News Tue, 29 Apr 1997

First Nelson Madela Lecture is Held In Accra

Accra Mr G. J. M. Motsope, the South African High Commissioner in Ghana said has that the main task of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is to unify the South African people into a new nation. He said, "after abolishing colonial relationships and establishing self-rule and democracy in South Africa, the main task of the ANC is to unify the people of South into a new nation". Mr Motsope was speaking on: "Unity In Diversity - The South African Experience ", at the first in the series of the annual Nelson Mandela Lectures in Accra . The Ghana-South Africa Friendship Association (GHASAFA) instituted the lectures in recognition of President Mandela's role in the establishment of a multi-racial democracy in South Africa.

Mr Motsope said after having emerged from the horrors of apartheid - 'the most brutal manifestation of man's inhumanity against man', - his country now has the priority of building a new future and hope for its ethnically diverse society. " While the old order thrived on conflict, divisions according to tribal affiliations and the distribution of land and resources according to skin colour, the new order emphasizes the creation of a just and democratic society that will sweep away the centuries-old legacy of colonial conquest and white domination," he told his audience.

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The High Commissioner said in spite of President Mandela's popularity and his near-messianic image both at home and abroad, he is still a very humble person who insists on being treated like every other human being. "When people urged him not to relinquish political power in South Africa (next year) he (Mandela) replied that he preferred to quit while there were still a few people left who liked him."

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