Jamaican leaders react to Mandela's death

Published: Friday | December 6, 2013 Comments 0
Simpson Miller
Simpson Miller

FROM PRESIDENTS to prime ministers, across the globe, tributes resonated yesterday on every single media platform for Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa and arguably one of the greatest freedom fighters of all times, who died at age 95.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in her tribute to Mandela, ranked the late South African leader among the greatest human beings in the history of humanity.

Simpson Miller said it was with tremendous and utter sadness that "I convey the heartfelt sympathy of the Government and people of Jamaica on the loss of the father of the South African Nation ... ."

She called the late former president "a courageous fighter, an enlightened leader and a quintessential statesman".

Said the prime minister: "His life will inspire countless generations and his illustrious legacy will endure. He was without a doubt one of the greatest human beings in the history of humanity."

In his tribute to Mandela, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness hailed the former president as an international social and political icon and as a shining light in the struggle for human rights, equality and freedom.

Holness said that all Jamaicans should be inspired by the work and dedication of this great national and global leader. "Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela was one of the greatest leaders to have ever walked the Earth. We all are fortunate to have witnessed his selfless leadership and dedication to humanity, to his people and to his country," Holness said.

In his tribute to Mandela, former prime minister, P.J. Patterson, said that the entire human race had lost one of the finest mortals who ever walked this planet.

"Nelson Mandela overcame the tyranny of racial oppression to become an apostle for a world where people, irrespective of colour or creed, could dwell together in peace and harmony," he said.

Another former prime minister and elder statesman, Edward Seaga, in an interview with Dionne Jackson Miller of Radio Jamaica, said that after his release from prison, "Mandela did not return to freedom with any vengeance".

"He tried to transform the country into one in which people of different races could live together in a multiracial society and he succeeded to a great extent," Seaga asserted.


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