|Former South African President Nelson Mandela who died December 5, 2013||The worldwide community mourns the passing of President Nelson Mandela, the first Black leader of democratic South Africa.
As a citizen of Jamaica, the first country in the world to impose a trade embargo against apartheid South Africa – that was in 1957, when my country was still a colony of Britain – , as one who was privileged to serve on the team of United Nations observers at the 1994 elections, when Mandela was elected as South African president, and as general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, which fosters respect for human dignity and celebrates contributions made by all who work tirelessly for the triumph of peace with justice, I offer praise and thanks to God for the gift to humankind that President Mandela was.
respect for human dignity and human rights. We cannot afford to forget the unbounded passion for freedom, the relentless striving for justice and the unshakeable commitment to peaceful human coexistence that Mandela exhibited.
Let us take time to ponder the legacy of this great world leader and let us be prepared, whatever the cost, to devote our lives to loving our neighbors, forgiving our enemies, and pursuing all that makes for justice and peace in our communities.
With the passing of this great man, the world has lost a remarkable emancipator. Mandela blazed a trail of
May God give strength to Mandela’s family members and to the people of South Africa in this moment of incalculable loss.
December 6, 2013