New era dawns as Mandela and De Klerk take Nobel

Click to follow
The Independent Online
OSLO (Reuter) - Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk vowed to step up efforts to bury apartheid and open a new, peaceful era in South Africa when the two political foes collected the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize yesterday. 'There is no room for complacency. All of us who believe in peace must redouble our efforts to reassure our countrymen that their rights and security will be assured,' President de Klerk said at the awards ceremony in Oslo.

'I have no doubt that we will succeed,' he said, despite what he called a dangerous road ahead to a 'new era dawning in our country'. Elections on 27 April will end 340 years of white domination in South Africa, and Mr Mandela is expected to defeat Mr de Klerk and become the first democratically elected president. Mr Mandela, who described apartheid as 'a crime against humanity', said the vote 'will mark a great step forward in history and also serve as a common pledge to fight racism wherever it occurs and whatever guise it assumes'. He added: 'We stand here today as nothing more than a representative of the millions of our people who dared to rise up against a social system whose very essence is war, violence, racism, oppression, repression and the impoverishment of an entire people.' Concluding with 'Let a new age dawn]', Mr Mandela ended his speech to a storm of applause, and with a beaming smile, raised a clenched fist in triumph.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments