The Profiles in Courage Award 1996.

For the year 1996 the Kennedy Society has decided to present John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage” as an award to President Nelson Mandela, South Africa for the following reasons:
During his life Nelson Mandela has, at great personal cost, made a courageous contribution towards a free South Africa governed by the people with equal rights for all. As a young man he stood together with his people’s leader awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Albert Luthuli.
At a lawcase June 20, 1964 he spoke out courageously and at length, and said in the end: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to life for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
At his inauguration as president May 10, 1994 he had the courage to make a request for reconciliation and not to continue a policy of apartheid in reverse. This was just the course of the Inauguration Ceremony and in his thanks to everyone for their contribution to “a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity… Not least my Second Deputy President, the Honourable FW de Clerk.” And in the same speech in these goals:”The time for healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come… We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”
In his opening speech to the parliament in Cape Town Februar 9, 1996 he courageously followed up these goals. For “free medical care and free and compulsory education.” Here he came with the courageous challenge: “The time has come for our nation to choose whether we want to become a law-governed and peaceful society or hapless hostages of lawlessness.” And in addition to this, I wish to announce today that preparations are under way to introduce measures that will prohibit the carrying of dangerous weapons in public manifestations.” “Never, never again will the nation’s laws separate us”, he said May 8, 1996 at the passing of South Africa’s new and noble constitution.