In 2018 South Africa and the world celebrated the centenary of the life and legacy of South Africa’s icon struggle stalwart, freedom fighter and first democratic president of the country Nelson Mandela. This liberation hero consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom. His steadfast resolve in the face of adversity led him to become a strong symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength.
In celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the South African High Commission, the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University and Global Affairs Canada hosted a seminar to pay tribute to the late former President of the Republic of South Africa. The seminar was to reflect and appreciate how South Africa’s humanity was recognised by countries like Canada. Immediately after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela listed Canada as one of the priority countries to visit. This was in recognition of Canada´s fight and involvement for justice for the people of South Africa, which had stretched to over three decades, notably from Prime Minister Diefenbaker; Prime Ministers Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau.
The Former Prime Minister of Canada, Rt Honourable Brian Mulroney anchored the discussions by giving insight into the role Canada played in the fight against the Human Rights abuse in South Africa. He shared insight on Canada’s unwavering commitment leading the international community to commit to justice spearheading an aggressive Canadian push within the Commonwealth for sanctions to pressure the racist South African government to end apartheid against South Africa.
Prime Minister Mulroney’s address was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Professor Fen Osler Hampson, a Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Global Security & Politics Program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).