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December 12, 2013

How the world responded to the death of Madiba

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fondly remembered as Tata Madiba, served as the President of South Africa from the period 1994 to 1999. He was the first black chief executive in parliament and his government focused on eradicating the legacy of apartheid in the country. Internationally, Madiba was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from the period 1998 to 1999. He was the father of our nation. As we end the week, let’s take a look at how the world responded to the death of the late Nelson Mandela.

Bill Clinton (‏@billclinton) tweeted: I will never forget my friend Madiba.

Barack Obama (‏@BarackObama) tweeted:  "A man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice."

Tony Blair told BBC News: "(Nelson Mandela) ushered in a new era."

President Jacob Zuma said, "South Africans sing a popular freedom song about Mandela - that he is one of a kind, that there is no one quite like him. Madiba was a fearless freedom fighter who refused to let the brutality of apartheid states to stand between him and his struggle."

President of Cuba, Raul Castro said, "Mandela's life teaches us that what threatens the existence of humanity can be eradicated only by effort from all countries. We shall never forget Mandela's moving homage to our country's struggles when he came," said Castro. Castro speaks of Mandela's 'bond of affection' with Fidel Castro and quotes what Fidel Castro had said about Mandela. "Honour and glory for ever to the great comrade Nelson Mandela and the heroic people of South Africa."

David Cameron ‏(@David_Cameron) UK Prime Minister tweeted a link to his tribute to Nelson Mandela in @thetimes.

“South Africa has lost one of its founding fathers and one of its greatest sons. Tata, we shall miss you – but know that your spirit and example will always be there to guide us to the vision of a better and more just South Africa.” – Former president FW de Klerk

“To our great hero, the icon of humility, selflessness and forgiveness, the world’s very symbol of humanity, to you Madiba, we say, go well dear father, comrade, and friend.” – National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu

Celebrities and public figures are also continuously sending tribute messages on the hashtag #RIPNelsonMandela as social media erupts with condolences and tributes.

“In the defining and tempestuous years of 1990 through to April 27th 1994 his leadership never gave the impression that he was overwhelmed by events, even in the darkest hours of Boipatong and other atrocities that were meant to derail the negotiations. When at times we felt doubt or fear, his strong resonant voice rolled out over the radio or TV and, like a tide going out, our reservations about the future receded.” – South African artist Johnny Clegg

“As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.” – American actor Morgan Freeman

“My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.” – Charlize Theron

“It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine.” – Fifa president Sepp Blatter

“When you think of a man going to jail for all those years for doing the right thing, not the wrong thing, it’s hard to comprehend that a man can come out and be like that. He was an exceptional man, just exceptional.” – Gary Player

“We have lost a true gentleman and a courageous human being. It was truly an honour to have known a man who had genuine love for so many people.” – David Beckham

In this photo, members of South African soccer team Kaizer Chiefs visit the Mandela family to pay their respects. - tweeted by Clayson Monyela (@ClaysonMonyela) South Africa's head of Public Diplomacy.

Clayson also tweeted this beautiful rendition of Madiba created by Craig Alan, represented by Deljou Art Group.

The world continues to mourn one of the greatest leaders of our time. On Tuesday 10 December, over 90 heads of states in the country came together for Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

View the full story here

A state funeral with full military honors will be held for Mandela, as he was the commander of Umkhonto weSizwe, the military wing of the ANC. He will be laid to rest on Sunday 15 December 2013.

View the full story here

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