JAN 2014

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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January 2014 steering the country through this difficult transition. Because of this both became Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Dr. Chang: They shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and history will forever link them. What about these two men made this accomplishment possible? What was their relationship in later years? Dr. Thornton: Both were aware of the unique opportunity they had to heal a fractured country, and worked together to bring this about. Mandela called de Klerk "a man of integrity," and their trust and spirit of cooperation grew over the years, influencing everyone around them. Their commitment to peace, forgiveness, and human equality made possible the peaceful transition from apartheid to the multiracial and politically stable nation that South Africa became. The Nobel award acknowledged the reconciliation of enemies as Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk stood side by side to receive the peace prize. Dr. Chang: Considering the inglorious history of apartheid, what impresses you most about the people and society in South Africa today? What legacy and lessons have Mandela and de Klerk left the rest of the world? Dr. Thornton: Contrary to press reports and negative expectations, international visitors find South Africa to be a place of great charm with an honest facing of racial and social problems and a willingness to work out problems, much like in the United States. Because of the spirit of reconciliation fostered by de Klerk and Mandela, apartheid's end came about peacefully, never erupting into violence. Apartheid began to be dismantled by the South African government, led by President de Klerk in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This government legalized the vote of black South Africans and released black leaders who had been imprisoned for their part in apartheid resistance movements. By the time of the presidential elections of 1994 in which Mandela was elected president, apartheid was a thing of the past. Working together, de Klerk and Mandela cut spending, privatized state industries, reformed the South African economy, encouraged investment, and strove to build a vibrant middle class. Mandela rejected efforts to divide the country by exploiting class or race. The legacy of these two men cannot be separated. They made the world a better place. EW EW NEWS & OPINION Contact information Thornton: sthornton@biosyntrx.com 19

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