On behalf of the Council and the residents of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, I would like to pass on my condolences to the people of South Africa and to the family of Nelson Mandela following the sad news that has touched people across the world.
Nelson Mandela has been an inspiration to me, just as he has for millions across the globe. Although we have known for a long time that Nelson Mandela’s health had been failing, his passing leaves a deep void. A great light has just gone out in the world. He has been rightly described as one of South Africa’s greatest sons, but he was also a global leader, who put freedom and justice first.
Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first democratically elected President, whose stoic battle against apartheid saw him being imprisoned for decades. He endured that imprisonment and when finally released showed no bitterness or desire for revenge. His strength of personality helped heal the terrible wounds created by institutionalised racism, and what seems extraordinary now, a colour bar which kept black and white deliberately segregated.
Nelson Mandela was a giant. We shall not see his like again. The world has lost a great human being.