From Mbeki to the Dalai Lama: messages for Madiba

2013-12-06 10:34

World leaders, political parties and religious groups shared their messages of condolence following the death of former president Nelson Mandela. What they said:

» “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world.” – President Jacob Zuma

» “His passing signals the end of an historic era represented by the heroic deeds of his generation. Thus, President Mandela’s departure demands of those of us who remain, South Africans and all Africans on the rest of our continent, that we commit ourselves selflessly to address the many challenges we face. President Mandela and his generation discovered the mission of their generation. They were at all times faithful to it, as a result of which they fulfilled it.” – Former president Thabo Mbeki

» “The large African Boabab, who loved Africa as much as he loved South Africa, has fallen. Its trunk and seeds will nourish the earth for decades to come.” – The ANC

» “We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.” – US President Barack Obama

» “South Africa has lost one of its founding fathers and one of its greatest sons. Tata, we shall miss you – but know that your spirit and example will always be there to guide us to the vision of a better and more just South Africa.” – Former president FW de Klerk

» “He was the symbol of hope and unity and he single-handedly transformed our country to what it is today, and for that we will always be indebted to him.” – National Freedom Party (NFP) leader Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi

» “Mandela denotes our democracy, our freedom, he was the ANC and will remain so, as much as OR Tambo and the rest of the collective were.” – Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha

» “He was a life-long friend, an inspired leader and a man of complex character. He was also a friend of my family and I convey in this my wife’s condolences too, to Madiba’s loved ones.” – IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi

» “Nelson Mandela fought tirelessly to gain political power, democracy, and freedom, and handed over the baton (to) those who had to fight for economic freedom.” – The Economic Freedom Fighters

» “To the world he was an icon, to his family and our nation, a father, but to the attorneys’ profession he was the embodiment of the principles that all in the profession aspire to – reconciliation, social justice, and respect for the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights.” – The Law Society of SA

» “His utilisation of peace as a vehicle of liberation showed Africa that if we were to move beyond the divisiveness caused by colonisation, and the pain of our self-inflicted wounds, compassion and forgiveness must play a role in governance.” – Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama

» “The sporting world will remember him for his tireless efforts at uniting the various sporting codes in order to create a proud and united South African sporting front.” – Cricket South Africa (CSA)

» “To our great hero, the icon of humility, selflessness and forgiveness, the world’s very symbol of humanity, to you Madiba, we say, go well dear father, comrade, and friend.” – National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu

» “We will greatly miss him, but take much from the legacy he has left as we continue our work to better our environment, our society, ourselves.” – World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

» “The best tribute we can pay to him is to do whatever we can to contribute to honouring the oneness of humanity and working for peace and reconciliation as he did.” – The Dalai Lama

» “The Chinese people will forever keep in memory the outstanding contributions he made to ... the development of humankind.” – China’s president Xi Jinping

» “A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian.” – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

» “It is with respect and humility that I bow to the memory of this extraordinary man, who will long be an inspiration to all of humanity.” – French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

» “Even many years in prison could not break Nelson Mandela or make him bitter – his message of reconciliation ultimately led to a new, better South Africa.” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel

» “Mandela, who symbolised the victory of the human spirit, made huge contributions towards creation of just society and pursuance of social justice.” – Universal Society of Hinduism

» “All who knew him suffer the absence of this man who was a mentor, a teacher, a president, a Nobel peace laureate, an anti-apartheid hero, and a paragon of racial reconciliation.” – SA Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ)

» “We pay homage and give thanks for a life that epitomised the concept of Ubuntu, of living your life through others.” – Muslim Imam A Rashied Omar

» “He was a humble servant of the people, who served the struggle with all the humility and dedication, commitment and passion.” – Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu)

» “In the defining and tempestuous years of 1990 through to April 27th 1994 his leadership never gave the impression that he was overwhelmed by events, even in the darkest hours of Boipatong and other atrocities that were meant to derail the negotiations. When at times we felt doubt or fear, his strong resonant voice rolled out over the radio or TV and, like a tide going out, our reservations about the future receded.” – South African artist Johnny Clegg

» “I often battled with the relentless pressure. But then I looked to him who carried himself with such grace and energy. I never left, I never could. Nelson Mandela did not demand loyalty, but he inspired profound and unwavering loyalty from everybody whose life he touched.” – Zelda la Grange, Mandela’s personal assistant

» “He was a unique personality, who gave a new and glorious meaning to freedom through his journey full of suffering.” – Iranian President Hassan Rowhani

» “As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.” – American actor Morgan Freeman

» “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.” – Charlize Theron

» “In the end, Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learnt that love would do a better job.” – Irish rock star Bono

» “Most extraordinary was how he rose above his being imprisoned and exalted himself above apartheid and hatred to unite the country, an unbelievable example of humanitarianism and courage.” – Soul singer Aretha Franklin

» “I got a chance to meet him with my father (Earl) back in ’98. He invited us to his home, and it was one of the most inspiring times I’ve ever had in my life.” – Tiger Woods

» “Ours is a special generation that saw Madiba in action. I am personally gratified and particularly privileged to have known this good man, an agent of change, a bearer of hope, and a representation of all that is good in humanity.” – Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza

» “What I will remember most about Mr Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge.” – Muhammad Ali

» “He was my hero, my friend.” – Pele

» “One of the greatest human beings ever.” – Usain Bolt

» “When you think of a man going to jail for all those years for doing the right thing, not the wrong thing, it’s hard to comprehend that a man can come out and be like that. He was an exceptional man, just exceptional.” – Gary Player

» “It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine.” – Fifa president Sepp Blatter

» “We have lost a true gentleman and a courageous human being. It was truly an honour to have known a man who had genuine love for so many people.” – David Beckham

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