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Madiba congratulates President-Elect Obama

by Bathandwa Mbola
on 05 Nov 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

As the world celebrates President-Elect Barack Obama"s win in the United States Presidential elections, former president Nelson Mandela has written a letter to congratulate him on his victory.

In the letter sent out by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Madiba said President Obama's victory has demonstrated that any person in the world could bring about change for a better place.

The former president applauded Mr Obama's commitment to supporting peace and security around the world and asked him to help in ridding the world of poverty and disease.

"We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all," reads the message.

Mr Obama won a convincing victory on Wednesday and said that his election is proof that his country is capable of change.

Delivering his acceptance speech, President Obama told a rally of over 200 000 people that their response to his call to vote was outstanding.

He said this was seen "by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen of people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different."

President Obama won the key states of Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, securing him his seat in the White House.

The President, who will be sworn in as America's 44th president in January 2009, said "change is coming to America".

Earlier President Kgalema Motlanthe also used the occasion to urge President Obama, son of an African immigrant, to use his presidency to tackle poverty.

He expressed hope that Mr Obama's election would contribute significantly to efforts in the continent of Africa to help bring about change they can believe in.

"We express the hope that poverty and under-development in Africa which remains a challenge for humanity will indeed continue to receive a greater attention of the focus of the new administration," said President Motlanthe.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was among the others who have also conveyed congratulations to Mr Obama. Archbishop Tutu said the win shows "that change is possible in the world".

He said the victory was almost similar to that of South African when Nelson Mandela became the first black South African President in 1994.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said Mr Obama will bring a new and fresh approach to the economy that will change America's global relationships with the rest of the world.

BUSA highlighted that it hopes that Mr Obama will fulfil the promises of subsidies made by America to developing countries during the World Trade Organisation talks.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared "Thursday a public holiday for Kenyans to celebrate the historic achievement by Senator Obama and our country."

He has called Mr Obama's victory a "momentous" day for Kenya where Mr Obama's father was born.

"This is a momentous day not only in the history of the United States of America, but also for us in Kenya.

"The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success," President Kibaki said. - BuaNews


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