TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA
FROM THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL
H.E. THE MOST HON. SIR PATRICK ALLEN ON, GCMG, CD
Madiba Nelson Mandela: beloved former President of South Africa; Nobel Laureate; prisoner for justice and truth; giant in the struggle which finally demolished apartheid; tireless advocate for global respect for human rights, justice and peace; true champion admired and respected across the world; patriarch; hero for all Jamaicans.
Madiba Nelson Mandela has run his race with the honour, dignity, humility, integrity and selfless endurance which have been unsurpassed in our times. His was a life of faith and forgiveness which had a global impact. And yet, this larger-than-life, iconic personality was so human, so approachable that in his presence, people of all ages and ethnic origins felt at ease and ennobled. This was a man whose enemies were obliged to come to terms with the fact of his greatness, a greatness which turned the searchlight on their inhumanity, made national reconciliation in the “rainbow nation” possible and redeemed the image of the once apartheid nation.
We who mourn his passing can pay no greater honour to Madiba than to follow his example at national and international levels. Madiba’s life challenges us to pattern our corporate and public governance on the values which he espoused and so effectively demonstrated. We are challenged to achieve reconciliation within families and communities and to eradicate divisive tribalism and the corrosive impact of gangs and dons. Our people must come together for our own long march to freedom from poverty, crime and insecurity, corruption and social decay.
Nelson Mandela’s place will be forever etched in world history. The monuments which we build to him will only be worthy of the stature of the man when we truly commit to the struggle for peace, justice, human rights, mutual respect and collaboration for development which his life exemplified.
Rest in peace Madiba Nelson Mandela!