‘He was not just a man for Africa, he was for the world’

Nelson Mandela, pictured in 1993
Nelson Mandela, pictured in 1993
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HE SHOULD be celebrated as ‘a man of the world’.

Last night Nelson Mandela, the former and first black president of South Africa, died aged 95.

And Mary Kiwanuka, the chairwoman of the Portsmouth African Union, has paid tribute to the man, she says, who helped all minorities.

She said: ‘He will always be remembered, as he did not just help Africans, but he has helped all minorities for peace.

‘He has been everything for peace, and will be remembered.

‘People will always remember him for all he has achieved, and for the moment we shouldn’t cry, but should celebrate those achievements.

‘He was not just a man for South Africa, or even Africa, he was a man of the world.

‘Right now we should celebrate that, and he should be remembered always.’

Mr Mandela had been suffering from a series of lung infections over the past two years.

He died in home in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family.

Mr Mandela changed the country as he led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, following 27 years in prison.

To mark his death, the flag in Guildhall Square in Portsmouth will fly at half-mast on Friday.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I have done some work in South Africa for several years.

‘The last time I went over was a couple of years ago.

‘Nelson Mandela is one of the greatest men of recent years, and what he did was stop a bloodbath.

‘He managed to stop a disaster of a civil war, and instead brought reconciliation to the country.

‘It is an amazing achievement and he is one of the greatest people in the past 100 years.

‘Today we will fly the flag at half-mast, to recognise such a man.

‘It’s only right we recognise him, and if people have any suggestions of what we could do in the city, then I would be happy to hear them. Mr Mandela wasn’t just a role model for one country, but one for the world.’

South African President Jacob Zuma broke the news of Mr Mandela’s death on television last night.

He said that Mr Mandela will be given a state funeral, likely to take place next Saturday, and ordered all national flags to be lowered to half-mast from today until after the service.

Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, said: ‘He was a man of the world, and the news is incredibly sad.

‘His walk from prison to freedom was an incredible one, and it should never be forgotten.

‘He brought peace and reconciliation to the world.