Item 1280 - Notes for speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Reception for Sonia Gandhi

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-S-1280


Notes for speech by President Nelson Mandela at a Reception for Sonia Gandhi


  • 1995-09-01 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Sonia Gandhi Reception

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



1. Introduction
a) It is a great privilege for me to be addressing you here as we honour our most esteemed guest, Sonia Gandhi.
b) The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 robbed the world of a true crusader of freedom and democracy. It deprived our country of the fulfilment of his plan to attend the ANC's first conference inside South Africa after its unbanning. He wished to come and reaffirm the deep commitment of the Indian government to eradicate the evils of apartheid racism and
c) Tonight the spirit of Rajiv Gandhi lives on. It is a great pleasure indeed for me to share the platform tonight with another fighter for freedom and equality.

2. Indian contribution to our struggle for freedom
a) Sonia Gandhi's work as Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, and other organisations, lends practical force to those noble ideals which have sustained our people, and peoples everywhere, in their striving for freedom and a better world.
b) I would like to use this occasion to thank the Foundation for the warmth and generosity with which it received our delegation when we visited India in January this year.
c) We were also deeply moved when, accompanied by Sonia Gandhi, we met with the organisations in India which had devoted themselves to solidarity with our freedom struggle.
d) Sonia Gandhi's presence in our country, therefore, symbolises the bond between the peoples of India and South Africa, which has played such a significant part in our struggle.
e) The South African Indian community has a history of extraordinary protest that has always been a great source of inspiration. Its rich tradition of struggle reaches back to the last century.
f) The community has given our nation some of its most revered leaders: Nana Sita, Dr. Yusuf Dadoo, Dr. Monty Naicker and others. They have been in the forefront of struggle and they helped shape the perspectives of the African National Congress. Many of you were imprisoned or exiled, but the spirit of defiance and your quest for freedom and equality could not be suppressed.

3. Local government elections, and KwaZulu/Natal
a) The ideals which sustained us in struggle must now become a living reality.
b) In this regard the situation in KwaZulu/Natal is of grave concern. Crime and violence in this province have reached intolerable proportions, jeopardising economic growth and delaying the action urgently needed to address poverty. The situation calls for firm action by government against lawbreakers, and for steps by political parties to defuse tensions.
c) We need, as soon as possible, to ensure the holding of local government elections. Democratic local authorities are the key to the community involvement that will bring the stability and the socio-economic changes which the people deserve.
d) The Indian community has been crucial in bringing about positive change in our country. The local government elections will provide an occasion to renew that tradition. Let us join together in this new period of building South Africa. Together, we have the power to reconstruct and develop our country.

4. Conclusion
a) As the vision of a free and democratic South Africa takes concrete shape, so our relations with the nations of the world are becoming those of equal partners. We look forward in particular to the flourishing of relations between the governments and peoples of India and South Africa, as the bonds forged in struggle become a partnership in peace and prosperity.
b) We are proud to have with us in our country someone who is a true internationalist. For we fully appreciate the role of the international community in bringing us where we are. It was not only by giving us material support, but also because it put its trust in our people to cherish and to nurture the ideals of tolerance and unity in diversity.
c) Sonia Gandhi's presence, therefore, represents our shared history and our hopes for future relations between India and South Africa. But more than that, it also represents a world which is becoming ever more united in its pursuit of a better life for all who live in it.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 25/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places