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Letter from M. Hollande to Nelson Mandela, on his 94th Birthday

Publié le July 23, 2012
Paris, July 18 2012.

Dear Nelson Mandela,

The French people join me in warmly wishing you health and happiness on your birthday.

2012 is an historic year for South Africa, and for you who now embody her both at home and abroad. It marks the centenary of the African National Congress, of which you wrote the decisive chapters. Who can forget that one man, surrounded by a few remarkable friends, managed to bring justice and freedom to a whole nation and hope to so many others?

Rest assured, cher Nelson Mandela, that the example of tenacity, courage and tolerance you gave the world in your long struggle for equal rights has left an indelible impression on mankind. In this respect, I very much hope that your memoirs occupy a special place in the South Africa Season which France will host next year.

I am keen to include in this message your wife, Graça Machel, and all your family, and remember the friends who have had an impact on the path you have taken, particularly Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.

(complimentary close).

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