JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela seduced audiences with his wit, then often bludgeoned them with his observations. Here is a collection of some of his most memorable quotes:
"No power on earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their freedom" - June 1961.
"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die" - at the Rivonia treason trial in April 1964, when he faced the possibility of a death sentence.
"I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people" - release from prison in February 1990.
"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign." - inauguration as president in May 1994.
"The award was a tribute to all South Africans and especially to those who fought in the struggle; I would accept it on their behalf" - on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1994.
"Late in life, I am blooming like a flower because of the love and support she has given me" - marrying Graca Machel in July 1998 at the age of 80.
"I step down with a clear conscience, feeling that I have in a small way done my duty to my people and my country" - retiring as president in May 1999.
"At least we have the right to get drunk... next time we will win" - after Germany pipped South Africa for the right to stage 2006 World Cup in July 2000.
"My bosses always say that I have had 27 years in prison to loaf. It is now time to do some catching up" - on life in retirement in November 2000.