Nelson Mandela, at the Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain on May 1, 2004, during a visit to Trinidad. PHOTO by MICHEAL BRUCE
COP: Mandela a global symbol of moral authority, sacrifice and humility
The Congress of the People (COP) has issued a statement in reaction to the passing of Nelson Mandela -
It is with a spirit of immense regret and an overwhelming sense of indebtedness that, on behalf of the leadership and membership of the COP, I extend sincerest condolences to our brothers and sisters of the Republic of South Africa and to the international community at large on the passing of the legendary Nelson Madiba Mandela.
From tomorrow until his funeral, the flags at COP’s Flagship House will be flown at half-mast as a mark of our respect and honour for this great fighter for freedom and equality.
Mr Mandela’s life was the epitome of struggle against injustice, inequality and racial discrimination. His involvement in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, his imprisonment for twenty-seven years (one third of his life), his election as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, his emergence as a global icon of social healing and reconciliation, his receipt of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, are key milestones in his legacy. He sacrificed his and his family's freedom for the freedom of others, demonstrating that one man can make a profound difference. His vision for South Africa was similar to our own COP motto: one nation, one people.
The COP recalls Mr. Mandela’s 2004 visit to Trinidad and Tobago, during which he stated, “I am here because I love you very much, and although it is not easy to love an old man like myself, I nevertheless thought I should come and urge you to love.” In June 2013, the COP Youth Congress paid tribute to the South African leader on his 95th birthday by producing artwork to commemorate Mr. Mandela’s 95th birthday. This artwork was donated to the Nelson Mandela Poster Project, a media-based charity initiative based in South Africa,
The world owes a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Mandela for having taken humanity to a higher level in its understanding of itself. From prisoner to president he will be remembered for his simplicity, perseverance and political thinking which reflected his personal priniciples. For this, Mr. Mandela was a global symbol of moral authority, sacrifice and humility.
May his soul rest in peace.