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Friday, 6 December 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

A brief tribute to a man whose walk was long, and whose battle for freedom changed the world.
It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of Nelson Mandela, who left us yesterday on December 5th. The iconic South African hero was struck by a lung infection at the culmination of a prolonged period of illness, and passed away at a staggering age of 95.

To summarise fully Mandela's influence upon the world at large and countless generations before us would be to do the impossible. What I can say with certainty is that we have witnessed the death of a figure who was a profound inspiration to citizens of the world campaigning for freedom, his battle to dissipate racial tension in his society and the world over spanning an incredible period of his own life. For twenty-seven years, he was incarcerated for his beliefs, and yet his faith in humanity's compassion and sense of moral justice never wavered, nor the grand following which he amassed in his time among us. Though Nelson has passed into whatever realm lies beyond this life and death, his imparted legacy upon future generations will forever transcend his mortal boundaries.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Nelson's family in this time of deep grief and necessary cherising of the time they spent in his company. To conclude, I shall cite the late freedom fighter, for his words encapsulate more powerfully than mine ever could Nelson's understanding of and devotion to his cause:

"Our human compassion binds us the one to the other- not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future."

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