Bertie Ahern: 'His greatness was in his magnanimity and foresight'
Mandela lived for reconciliation and his story encapsulates the triumph of spirit and perseverance, writes Bertie Ahern
BILL Clinton tells a wonderful story about Nelson Mandela. Bill was fascinated by Mandela's gesture in asking his former jailers to attend his inauguration as president.
Bill asked Mandela when he was imprisoned did he not resent his captors? Mandela told him that he had hated them, but one day, Mandela realised that his guards had taken everything from him except his heart and his mind. Mandela told Clinton that "those they could not take without my permission. I decided not to give them away".
Mandela's life story encapsulates the triumph of human spirit and perseverance. He will be remembered as one of the giants of 20th-century history.