One of the greatest world figures of the 20th century says Waltham Forest Mayor

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Mandela passed away peacefully at his home in South Africa Mandela passed away peacefully at his home in South Africa

Tributes are pouring in for Nelson Mandela.

The 95-year-old, who was imprisoned for 27 years by the apartheid regime in South Africa, died yesterday aged 95.

Leyton and Wanstead Mp John Cryer said his forgiveness has inspired those fighting to end inequality.

"It was his ability to forgive his opponents, and promote peace, which led his nation to democracy and inspired people across the world in their own struggles against racism and inequality,” he said.

"When he was imprisoned South Africa was seen as a friendly nation by many in the west and there must have been times when it seemed like the world was against him.

"Yet he managed to show that peaceful compromise and reconciliation was the way forward rather than vengeance."

"He also showed that those who prevail tend to be people who can sustain the most rather than those who can conflict the most."

Waltham Forest mayor, Cllr Nadeem Ali, described Mandela as “one of the greatest”.

He said: “Like millions around the world, I am saddened today by the death of Nelson Mandela.

"He truly was one of the greatest world figures of the 20th Century.  An inspirational leader who sacrificed so much in the pursuit of his goals.

"Mr Mandela’s influence will be felt in South Africa and beyond for years to come.  For me personally, when I think that he was in prison for nearly as long as I have been alive, his greatest attribute was the lack of bitterness he showed to those who had gaoled him.

"A man of peace, a man of principle, a man of honour; Nelson Mandela was an exemplary statesman whose passing is keenly felt. I offer my condolences to his family."

Shaukat Ali, 48, is the chairman of the Leyton-based Fight Against Racism group and the Asian Arts Council.

He said: “This is a great loss. It was tragic that he had spent 26 years locked up in prison when he could have done so much more but his achievements were incredible.

“He is regarded as a highly respected figure and this is not just a loss for South Africa but for the whole world."

Father John Connell, of Chingford Parish churches, praised Mandela’s bravery.

He said: “Clearly we’re celebrating a monumental world leader and the whole country will feel a great sense of loss.

“The way he showed grace and courage after prison was remarkable. He led a peaceful transition from apartheid in South Africa and allowed the country to move forward without violence and reprisal.

“We will be praying for Nelson Mandela, his family and the people of South Africa on Sunday and we thank God for all that we has given this world.”


 

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