Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory


  • Title: Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • Date: 1994-01-01
  • Story: 1994 1994 was a special year for us. We were free and had had our first democratic elections which the ANC, as expected, won hands down. But the President is chosen not by the people but by Parliament. On this day in May Nelson Mandela had just been elected unanimously by Parliament. I said to God, 'it has happened, what we had dreamt about, what so many had died for, had been imprisoned and tortured for, and had gone into exile, yes it had happened. Apartheid, injustice, oppression had been comprehensively defeated and now we were free. God if I die now, I won't mind!' I was given the incredible honor of introducing the newly elected President and his two Deputy Presidents,Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk to the thousands waiting eagerly on the Grand Parade in front of the City Hall, and to an expectant world out there sitting before their TV sets. The mayor  was wonderfully generous to have invited me to do the honours. So I said,  'This is day we have waited for for 300 years. This is our brand new out of the box President' and the cheers were ear-splitting as I raised Madiba's hand as if he had been a boxer who had just won a boxing match. What a moment!
  • Quote: "God if I die now, I won’t mind!"
  • Type: Photo
  • Original Source: To download a photograph click here
  • Collection: Moments with a Legend

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