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“The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. ... We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts.”

Address to a crowd at his inauguration as South African president in 1994

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today.”

Address after his release from prison on Feb. 11, 1990

“Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates.”

On receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10, 1993

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

From his 1994 autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”