December 6, 2013

Mandela’s death touches many in central Maine

Students, professors remember the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95.

By Susan McMillan
Staff Writer

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“I think it was important for people outside of Africa to see a black African leader govern a black African country well,” Seay said.

South Africa still has plenty of problems, including massive inequalities of wealth, health and opportunity. Also, the African National Congress is so dominant in elections that it’s difficult to hold the government accountable for corruption and incompetence, Seay said.

As party elders have died, however, the party has faced disagreements about its future. Seay said she expects many factions to claim Mandela’s legacy, just as different flavors of Republicans in the United States have tried to lay claim to Ronald Reagan.

Gondo said she thinks Mandela’s work to empower people and make peace will be continued through the many organizations established in his name and events such as Mandela Day, a day of service observed on his birthday, July 18.

Tietenberg said he felt incredible sadness when he learned of Mandela’s death.

“In the history of the world, in some sense, there are some figures who just stand out as playing an incredibly key role in transforming societies in good ways,” Tietenberg said. “He is certainly one of those people.”

Susan McMillan — 621-5645smcmillan@centralmaine.comTwitter: @s_e_mcmillan
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