During the years I lived here, the people of Alexandra ignored tribal and ethnic distinctions. Instead of being Xhosas, or Sothos, or Zulus, or Shangaans, we were Alexandrans. We were one people, and we undermined the distinctions that the apartheid government tried so hard to impose. It saddens and angers me to see the rising hatred of foreigners.
I regard it as a duty which I owed, not just to my people, but also to my profession, to the practice of law, and to the justice for all mankind, to cry out against this discrimination which is essentially unjust and opposed to the whole basis of the attitude towards justice which is part of the tradition of legal training in this country. I believed that in taking up a stand against this injustice I was upholding the dignity of what should be an honorable profession.
One day, I was on the front lawn of the property and aimed the gun at a sparrow perched high in a tree. Hazel Goldreich, Arthur's wife, was watching me and jokingly remarked that I would never hit the target. But she had hardly finished the sentence when the sparrow fell to the ground. I turned to her and was about to boast, when the Goldreichs' son Paul, then about five years old, turned to me with tears in his eyes and said, David, why did you kill that bird? Its mother will be sad. My mood immediately shifted from one of pride to shame; I felt that this small boy had far more humanity than I did. It was an odd sensation for a man who was the leader of a nascent guerrilla army.
The private sector granted bursaries scholarships for the children of their workers. Some of them built homes for their workers. They had in-service training, which improved the skills of their workers. So that spirit was there. All we did was merely exploit it.
We tried in our simple way to lead our life in a manner that may make a difference to those of others.
Our efforts to counter hatred, intolerance, and indifference must continue simultaneously at individual and structural levels. We must try to influence for good the minds and hearts of individual people through dialogue and confidence building. These efforts must be reinforced by our efforts to create just structures in society to support the ongoing work of negotiations in the human community. Only then will we have a chance to negate the terrible consequences of the tremendous conflicts facing humankind today.
But the human body has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances. I have found that one can bear the unbearable if one can keep one's spirits strong even when one's body is being tested. Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.
The anchor of all my dreams is the collective wisdom of mankind as a whole.
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
The Commonwealth makes the world safe for diversity.
In the 21st Century, the capacity to communicate will almost certainly be a key human right.
Blaming things on the past does not make them better.
I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.
The secret to success is to learn to accept the impossible, to do without the indispensable, and to bear the intolerable.
Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.
If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government.
We recall our terrible past so that we can deal with it, to forgive where forgiveness is necessary, without forgetting; to ensure that never again will such inhumanity tear us apart; and to move ourselves to eradicate a legacy that lurks dangerously as a threat to our democracy.
I am fundamentally an optimist.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.