Sunday 11 December 2016

Mary Robinson: We can honour Madiba's legacy best by giving ourselves to others

Mary Robinson pays tribute to her dear friend Nelson Mandela

Mary Robinson

Published 06/12/2013 | 02:30

Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Mary Robinson during a meeting of The Elders in Johannesburg in May 2010.
Nelson Mandela shakes hands with Mary Robinson during a meeting of The Elders in Johannesburg in May 2010.

Nelson Mandela, Madiba, prisoner 466/64 – whatever name we use we are talking about a much-loved citizen of the world whose memory and legacy will never die.

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What is it that made Nelson Mandela the most revered statesman and beloved figure of our time? Why is it that his death is felt by all of us as a personal loss, leaving a sense of being bereft? I can only give my own sense of why he was the most inspiring individual I have ever met.

I cannot remember when I first became aware of Nelson Mandela, but I was certainly aware of the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and his leadership in the immediate aftermath.

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