South Africa pays homage to Mandela

2013-12-06 17:34
Nelson Mandela (file, AFP)

Nelson Mandela (file, AFP)

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Mandela unites South Africa - News24 editor-in-chief

2013-12-06 16:18

News24 editor-in-chief Jannie Momberg speaks about Nelson Mandela's death and Madiba's amazing ability to unite the nation. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - Many South Africans payed homage to former president Nelson Mandela on Friday, after his death in his Houghton home in Johannesburg on Thursday shocked the world.

Here are what some of them had to say:

Human Sciences Reseach Council (HSRC)

Former president Nelson Mandela's support of HIV/Aids research was commendable, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) said on Friday.

HSRC board chairperson Nasima Badsha said Mandela helped produce the study on national HIV prevalence, behavioural risks and media household survey in 2002.

"Through his trusted adviser, the late Prof Jakes Gerwel, and former chair of the HSRC board, Mr Mandela supported the HSRC in its work on HIV/Aids at the time when the government was in denial about the extent of the problem."

HSRC CEO Prof Olive Shisana said it took note of Mandela as a great leader and an extraordinary man.

"He fought for justice, he was a hero and a great light has gone from this world," she said.

"He was pivotal in the fight against HIV/Aids in this country. He was humble, believed in fairness and in the equality of all people regardless of race or ethnic group, and he was above all a formidable leader."

SA Women Lawyers' Association (Sawla)

Former president Nelson Mandela was a catalyst for the new South Africa, the SA Women Lawyers' Association (Sawla) said on Friday.

He reached out to both rich and poor, and fitted in well at levels of the human race and genders, said Sawla president Noxolo Maduba, expressing sadness at his death.

She said Mandela, a former lawyer, had been a committed freedom fighter and an inspiration to the nation. He had made an immense contribution to a just society and to the legal fraternity.

He was also a selfless cadre who showed undoubted commitment to the gender issues which affected women in South Africa.

Sawla fondly remembered the speech Mandela made on Women's Day in 1996.

"Tata Madiba acknowledged the legacy of oppression weighed heavily on women and undertook to strengthen the forces for change in the country," Maduba said.

He committed to specific and practical guidelines for attaining gender equality and the empowerment of women.

"It is by his legacy that women continue with their fights and efforts in ensuring the equal power to women," she said.

"Sawla urges all our current and future leaders of our country to carry Tata Madiba's baton in ensuring that gender equality and equal power to women is realised."

Sawla mourned with the nation and conveyed condolences to his family, friends, and his political home, the African National Congress.

"May the Mandela family find comfort in the knowledge that Madiba's selflessness benefited the entire human race and that his legacy will be forever cherished by us," said Maduba.

"Long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela."

Sonke Gender Justice Network (SGJN)

Former president Nelson Mandela was a symbol of the struggle for justice and equality not only in South Africa, but across the globe, civil rights group Sonke Gender Justice Network (SGJN) said on Friday.

"South Africa leads the world in mourning today [Friday] after the death of its heroic leader Nelson Mandela," SGJN said in a statement.

Mandela had committed his life to the fight against an oppressive regime in South Africa.

"After more than a quarter of a century of being imprisoned for his efforts to free oppressed people in South Africa, he then, as president of a new democracy, dedicated himself to building a democratic and free South Africa," SGJN said.

Dialogue, reconciliation and freedom were the cornerstones of the new democracy.

"Madiba was a champion for the rights of all - men, women, children," said SGJN programme specialist Sisonke Msimang.

Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU)

Former president Nelson Mandela charted a course of peace and reconciliation not only for South Africa, but also for other nations seeking healing and unity, the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (SAOU) said on Friday.

"We salute his memory and join all those who seek to advance his legacy," SAOU spokesperson Ted Townsend said in a statement.

The SAOU said it would continue on the path Mandela had charted, striving for the kind of society he envisaged.

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.

- Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at

Read more on:    hsrc  |  saou  |  nelson mandela

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