Nelson Mandela was a giant in defence of human rights -President – world is poorer with his loss

Georgetown, GINA, December 5

 

President Donald Ramotar has extended condolences to the family of the late anti-apartheid leader, icon and Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela who passed away today.

In a televised message to the nation, President Ramotar described Mandela’s passing as a “loss not just one for the people of South Africa, but for Africa as a whole, and the world at large. Nelson Mandela was a giant in defence of human rights and for a free and just society, not only for his beloved South Africans, but for the oppressed the world over”.

The President added that the world is much poorer after the passing of one of the most outstanding statesmen of all time. “The struggle he led with other distinguished anti-apartheid fighters has entered into the annals of world history as one of the most defining periods in our world. However, it was not only the struggle, but the manner in which it was conducted which will always remain an example and an inspiration for others working for social and economic justice everywhere”.

Nelson Mandela (internet photo)

He said the world renowned statesman was truly “the Father of his Nation”, who tirelessly devoted his life to serving the people of South Africa with humility and dignity in leadership and an unwavering commitment to preserving that hard won unity and the pride of liberation.

The former freedom fighter was highly loved and respected the world over and his memory will forever be cherished.  “For Guyana, this is particularly so, as we recall the strength of character which he continually displayed during those long, dark years of incarceration, a grave injustice. As we mourn now with South Africa, we rejoiced then, when he won his freedom and took his rightful place as leader of his country,” President Ramotar said.

 

Expressing his wish that on behalf of the government and people of Guyana that South African President Jacob Zuma would convey his sympathy to Mandela’s family, and the people of South Africa, President Ramotar said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time”.

Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday

 

Born in 1918 in the village of Mveso in Transkei, South Africa, Mandela died at age 95 of complications from a recurring lung infection. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was a beloved figure around the world, a symbol of reconciliation from a country with a brutal history of racism. He was released from prison in 1990 after nearly 30 years for plotting to overthrow South Africa’s apartheid government.

Nelson Mandela taking the oath of President in 1994 (internet photo)

In 1994, in a historic election, he became the nation’s first black president of South Africa, where he brought about a peaceful transition from the white-dominated government to a multi-racial democracy. He worked with South African President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid, for which the two leaders share the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

 

Mandela, who was Leader of the African National Congress (ANC) stepped down in 1999 after a single term and retired from political and public life.

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