Thirty years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years of imprisonment by South Africa's apartheid regime and instantly galvanized the country, and the world, to dismantle the brutal system of racial oppression.
Raising a clenched-fist salute and striding purposefully from the gates of Victor Verster prison, Mandela, then 71, made it clear he was committed to ending apartheid and establishing majority rule and rights for all in South Africa.
His release gave many South Africans their first view of Mandela because during his imprisonment the regime banned the publication of images of him and his speeches. And then, suddenly, he was on national television, urging massive changes.
"Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all," Mandela said hours after his release, speaking to throngs of supporters at Cape Town's City Hall.
On Tuesday, current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who held the microphone during Mandela's address, dramatically returned to the City Hall to address the nation, saying Mandela's stirring address was a "speech that birthed a nation."
Just over four years after his release, Mandela was elected president in the country's first all-race elections, leading South Africa out of decades of violently imposed discrimination. Under his leadership, South Africa drafted and passed a constitution widely praised for upholding the rights of all, becoming one of the first to explicitly endorse gay rights.
A Truth and Reconciliation Commission took South Africa on a compelling, painful path to air the injustices perpetrated during the more than 40 years of apartheid rule.
Mandela, and then South African President F.W. de Klerk, who freed him, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 "for their work to peacefully end apartheid and for laying the foundation for a new democratic South Africa."
Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu, himself a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, marked the 30th anniversary of Mandela's release.
"Nelson Mandela emerged from prison to dazzle South Africa and the world with his warmth and human values," wrote Tutu and his wife, Leah, in a short statement. "Circumstances and priorities change over time, but good values don't go out of fashion. We miss him. Love and blessings."
Magnanimous, charismatic and inclusive during his one term as president which ended in 1999, Mandela led South Africa to a new era of democracy. In retirement he remained active in encouraging rights for all.
Today's South Africa is dogged by serious problems of inequality, poverty and violence, largely a result of the stubborn legacy of apartheid. Some South Africans have criticized Mandela for making too many compromises, especially to the white minority, which continues to enjoy prosperity.
Standing beside a statue of Mandela at Cape Town City Hall Tuesday, Ramaphosa said the country still struggles with racial divisions and inequality and strives to live up to Mandela's legacy.
"Millions of our people continue to live in poverty ... the divide between haves and have-nots continues to widen," said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said Mandela's release "was a defining moment in our onward march toward democracy" in a statement to mark the anniversary.
But "inequality, especially as defined by race and gender, remains among the highest in the world. Unemployment is deepening and poverty is widespread. Violence, including the violence that men perpetrate against women, continues to ravage our communities," Ramaphosa said.
He urged all South Africans to take inspiration from Mandela's legacy to work together to help solve these problems.
Former president de Klerk also emphasized the challenges that South Africa faces, including "inadequate education, health and municipal services," and "unacceptable levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment."
The last president of apartheid said that "South Africa in 2020 is emphatically on the wrong road: it is headed not toward a 'New Dawn' but toward very dark and threatening storm clouds." He urged South Africa to follow Mandela's example and "return to the road of freedom, toleration and non-racialism."
Seven people were killed in two separate road accidents in the eastern Ugandan district of Kumi on Friday, a police spokesperson said here on Saturday.
Michael Odongo, East Kyoga regional police spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that four people were killed in the first fatal accident within Kumi town.
The police spokesperson said three other people were killed near Odelo market, a few kilometers to Kumi town.
"The cause of these accidents are mainly reckless driving. We caution drivers to always be careful while on the road," said Odongo.
The police spokesperson said the bodies of the deceased were taken to Kumi hospital for autopsy, before handling them to relatives for burial.
The police attribute the high rates of road carnage to reckless driving, over speeding, drink driving and overloading speeding in the east African country.
Uganda registers about 20,000 accidents each year, with some 2,000 deaths, making it one of the countries with the highest traffic death rates, according to police statistics.
At least five people died on the spot while 12 others seriously injured in a road accident that occurred in central Zambia's Chibombo district, the police said on Thursday.
The accident happened on Wednesday afternoon along a main road when a truck failed to stop at a junction and hit into two vehicles.
Zambia Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata-Katongo said the truck then hit people who were at a nearby market, leaving five dead and 12 others with serious injuries.
Road traffic accidents are common in Zambia. Last year the country recorded 30,648 road traffic accidents in which 1,746 people died.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan started U.S.-monitored talks on Wednesday in the Sudanese capital to try hammer out a draft deal to resolve their dispute over a Nile dam that Ethiopia is constructing, an Egyptian spokesman said.
The $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile, which promises to provide much-needed electricity to Ethiopia's 100 million people, has been a contentious point among the three main Nile Basin countries.
The issue is critical for Cairo as Egypt seeks to protect its main source of freshwater for its large and growing population, also about 100 million.
The Blue Nile flows from Ethiopia into Sudan where it joins the White Nile near Khartoum, to form the Nile River. Eighty-five percent of Nile waters originate in Ethiopia from the Blue Nile, which is one of the Nile's two main tributaries, along with the White Nile.
According to Muhamed el-Sebai, a spokesman for Egypt's irrigation ministry, technical and legal teams from the three countries are to "prepare a draft deal" on how the dam's reservoir would be filled and how the dam itself would operate.
The meeting in Khartoum would last two days, he said. There was no immediate indication on whether it would succeed after several previous rounds of talks failed. But at the talks in Washington last week, the three countries said they had reached a preliminary agreement. And President Donald Trump met with the foreign ministers and those in charge of irrigation from the three countries at the White House, to push for the deal.
The U.S. and World Bank are acting as observers at the Khartoum talks after Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi last year pleaded with Washington and the international community to mediate a solution for the years-long dispute.
Egypt claims that filling the dam's reservoir too quickly could significantly reduce its share of the Nile water, which is a lifeline for its people. A joint statement after the Washington meeting said the filling should occur in stages during the rainy season, which generally runs from July to August, thought it did not give details on how long it would take to be completed.
Another two-day meeting in Washington is planned for next week, with the goal of reaching a final agreement.
The mega-dam, now about 70% complete, will generate about 6,400 megawatts once it's finished, more than doubling Ethiopia's current production of 4,000 megawatts. Ethiopia said the dam will not be completed until 2022, more than four years behind schedule, because of faulty parts in the hydro-electrical plant's equipment.
Regional officials in Ethiopia on Tuesday confirmed 10 deaths and 250 people injured after a wooden platform collapsed during a religious event the day before.
Thousands of people attended the colorful Epiphany celebration known as Timkat in the northern city of Gondar.
"Ten people have lost their lives," the Ethiopian Press Agency quoted the city's police chief, Ayalew Teklu, as saying. "Thirteen people have sustained serious injuries, including four members of the security services."
Ashenafi Tazebew with Gondar University Hospital said more than 250 people had received medical care. Some 80 people remained at the hospital, Ashenafi said.
The collapse occurred inside the Emperor Fasilides Bath in the city where several thousand Ethiopians and tourists attended the celebration commemorating the baptism of Jesus.
The Ethiopian News Agency reported that more than 15,000 foreigners attended the event in Gondar.
UNESCO late last year added Ethiopia's Epiphany festivities to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which attracted more attendees.