A Great Statesman, Mandela Also Inspired Fellow Lawyers
Of course, for those inspired by the man and his message, a mere court case cannot mar Mandela’s status as a global icon.
“Nelson Mandela, not to sound trite, was the moral conscience of the nation,” Mayers says. Adds Silver: “I feel I’m personally indebted to Mandela for what he did for South Africa.”
In a letter to his family written from prison and read before a rally in Soweto in 1985, Mandela sought to explain why his life was driven by the pursuit of freedom.
"In the name of the law, I found myself treated as a criminal …not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of my conscience," he wrote. "No one in his right senses would choose such a life, but there comes a time when a man is denied the right to live a normal life, when he can only live the life of an outlaw because the government has so decreed to use the law."