Former US President Barack Obama speaks during the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg on July 17, 2018. Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, urging young people to fight to defend democracy, human rights and peace, to a crowd of 15,000 people at the club as the centrepiece of celebrations marking 100 years since Nelson Mandela's birth. Obama has made relatively few public appearances since leaving the White House in 2017, but he has often credited Mandela for being one of the great inspirations in his life.
 / AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA
Former US President Barack Obama speaks during the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg on July 17, 2018. AFP 

Obama targets 'politics of fear' in Mandela address



Former US president Barack Obama said today's times are "strange and uncertain" in a speech to a crowd of 15,000 people in South Africa as the centrepiece of celebrations marking 100 years since Nelson Mandela's birth.

The former president said "politics of fear, resentment" are moving at a pace unimaginable a few years ago.

While not mentioning his successor, President Donald Trump, by name, Mr Obama's speech in South Africa countered many of Mr Trump's policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, diversity and tolerance.

He targeted politicians pushing "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment," saying they are on the move "at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago."He attacked "strongman politics," saying that "those in power seek to undermine every institution ... that gives democracy meaning."

His words were met with cheers by a crowd of about 14,000 people gathered at a cricket stadium in Johannesburg for the speech, which was streamed online.

Mr Obama has made relatively few public appearances since leaving the White House in 2017, but he has often credited Mandela for being one of the great inspirations in his life.

Mr Obama is delivering the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at a cricket stadium in Johannesburg in an address which will urge young people to fight to defend democracy, human rights and peace.

Mandela, who died in 2013, remains a global icon for his long struggle against white-minority apartheid rule and for his message of peace and reconciliation after being freed following 27 years in prison.

Mr Obama met Mandela only briefly in 2005 but gave a eulogy at his funeral saying Mandela "makes me want to be a better man" and hailing him as "the last great liberator of the 20th century".

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Read more:

Retracing Nelson Mandela's footsteps 100 years after his birth

Comment: Never far from controversy, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's legacy raises questions over the state of the ANC's ideological project

Gold cast of Mandela's hands sold for $10m in Bitcoin

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The speech comes on the eve of "Mandela Day" - his birthday, which is marked around the world every year on July 18.

The "Mandela 100" anniversary has triggered a bout of memories and tributes to the late anti-apartheid leader, as well as a debate over his legacy and South Africa's fate since he stepped down in 1999.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he would mark the day by donating half his salary to charity to honour "the great sacrifices he made and his tireless commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable."

But F.W. de Klerk, the former president who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993, said: "I'm convinced that President Mandela would be deeply concerned, as I am, about the present state of affairs in South Africa."

"His vision of a reconciled South Africa has become almost non-existent within the (ruling) ANC at the moment," he said.

Before arriving in South Africa, Mr Obama paid a brief visit to Kenya, his father's home country.

He opened a youth centre run by his half-sister and visited the home of his step-grandmother in the village of Kogelo, where his father was born and was buried.

Obama will also host a town hall event in Johannesburg on July 18 for 200 young leaders selected from across Africa to attend a five-day training programme.

Mandela was imprisoned under apartheid rule in 1962 and only freed in 1990 when he went on to lead the African National Congress party to victory in the first multi-race elections in 1994.

The anniversary includes a string of other events such as a walk in Johannesburg led by Mandela's widow Graca Machel, the release of letters Mandela wrote from his prison cell and the printing of a commemorative banknote.

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Monday, January 28
Iran v Japan, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Tuesday, January 29
UAEv Qatar, Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium (6pm)

Friday, February 1
Final, Zayed Sports City Stadium (6pm)

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Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

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1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

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2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Asian Champions League, last 16, first leg:

Al Ain 2 Al Duhail 4

Second leg:

Tuesday, Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha. Kick off 7.30pm

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Profile of Hala Insurance

Date Started: September 2018

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