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PM Simpson Miller hails Mandela as a great freedom fighter

Published:Thursday | December 5, 2013 | 6:42 PM

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has expressed sadness at the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.



Mandela died at home today at the age of 95.



Simpson Miller described Mandela as a great freedom fighter and a friend of the Jamaican people.



According to her, Mandela was a hero for the people of African descent around the world.



Simpson Miller, who was speaking on RJR’s Beyond the Headlines this afternoon, said Mandela was the symbol of one who survived hardship and persecution.



“He was one who stood up for the people of South African and fought with them against the apartheid.



He was prepared to give his life for the freedom of the people and for me that is my hero,” she said.



Recounting memories from Mandela’s visit to Jamaica, the Prime Minister said, the former South African president was a great but a humble man.



She said in short order the government will announce plans of how Jamaica will official mourn Mandela’s passing.



SEE SIMPSON MILLER'S MESSAGE BELOW:



It is 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, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela.



The world has lost a courageous fighter, an enlightened leader, and a quintessential statesman.



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.



Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the ideal that the dignity of the human person was a God-given right that should never be denied or downtrodden. He led and inspired his country’s epic struggle for freedom and democracy and will be remembered with special pride as the first President of democratic South Africa.



This achievement alone, would have ensured his greatness, but this man of virtue and majesty will be remembered for much more. He would transcend politics and society to represent the noblest qualities of love and mercy, wisdom and understanding.



Despite enduring the horrors of the apartheid regime and serving 27 years of a dehumanizing and unjust prison sentence, he emerged without a visible trace of rancour or hatred to embody forgiveness and reconciliation.



His choice to denounce bitterness and hatred and to focus on truth and compassion must be remembered and emulated by peoples everywhere.



He was a giant of a man, an icon and an example to us all on what a leader should be, humble and gentle but with an indomitable spirit.



He was a most deserving recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.



He was a friend of the Jamaican people and he valued our historic solidarity with the South African people.



The people of Jamaica consider Nelson Mandela to be an honorary citizen of Jamaica. We are grateful that he chose to visit our Island in July 1994.



The love and respect of the people of Jamaica for his lifelong struggle for freedom, dignity and justice are as strong now as they were on that historic visit to our shores.



We grieve together with the people of South Africa and the family of the late President the loss of this giant of our times and this man for all times.




WATCH: Nelson Mandela dies, legacy lives on




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