Lawyers Collectively Mourn the Death of Nelson Mandela

Posted: December 19, 2013 in News and Views

 Lawyers Collective mourns the death of Nelson Mandela: 

 Reminds Sri Lanka of his key messages 

Lawyers Collective mourns the passing away of Nelson Mandela who accomplished his historic mission to end apartheid and established a free nation. First an activist and then a lawyer,he became the icon in the freedom struggle in South Africa. He had enormous capacity and ability to sustain the struggle to end one of the world’s worst crimes against humanity. Having served a long prison sentence for 26 years, he became the President of South Africa – a position he could have easily kept for himself till he breathed his last.  Yet he served just one term.  “After winning the war against apartheid, Mandela committed himself to establish democracy, instead of conspiring to rule for life or to amass wealth for his family”, says Lawyers Collective.  

 Lawyers   Collective sees this as an appropriate timefor our future leadersto look at his life as an example. Unlike many other authoritarian rulers in Africa and world over, Mandela did not want to be President for life. He is respected for leading the way for reconciliation with a different model of accountability.  His leadership in introducing one of the most democratic constitutions is a hallmark of his commitment to Rule of Law. He is much respected as a global statesman who did not have a vested interest for himself, his family or cronies of his own political party.  He stood for human rights for all and independence of judiciary. He firmly stood against abuse of power and corruption.  

 Nelson Mandela has commenced his legal practice in 1952 and pushed for social justice through a law firm, formed with his friend;  ‘Mandela & Tambo’ was the first all -black law firm in South Africa, which offered pro bono and low cost legal services to the clients charged with violation of segregation laws. His commitment persuaded the legal fraternity in South Africa to lead the struggle for Democracy.  His practice influenced the entire civil liberties movement in the world who perceived him as the “Moral Center of legal legacy”. With his activities against an all- powerful White Government, which was run by a deadly Defence Establishment, he was charged with treason before Court where he faced a trial and  was sentenced to life. He said,   during his trial in 1962, “I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience.” Lawyers Collective salutes the Great Leader for his commitment and inspirational leadership.

 JC Weliamuna

On behalf of Lawyers’ Collective

And on behalf of the High Court Bar Association Hyderabad, Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum and other lawyers we join the Sri Lankan lawyers in this statement.  

 

8 December 2013

 

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