Vice President M. Hamid Ansari on Friday condoled the passing away of South Africa’s first elected black President and a global anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
In his condolence message, Ansari said: “I am profoundly saddened at the passing away of Nelson Mandela, former President of the South Africa, and one of the greatest personalities of our times, who represented the best of human spirit and values.
“Mandela was a living symbol of his people’s quest for freedom and dignity against tyranny and injustice. While his courage, determination and sacrifice inspired millions of people during the anti-apartheid movement, his message of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation thereafter, united them and led the rainbow nation on the path to peace and progress,” he added.
He further said: “In his death, South Africans have lost the father of their nation and the world a statesman, whose life and message of courage and goodness would continue to inspire and guide all of us around the world in the years ahead.”
Mandela, who guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died at his home on Thursday at age 95
Mandela had spent nearly three months in a Pretoria hospital with a recurring lung infection, and was shifted to his home in September with all intensive care facilities made available to him
Mandela had spent 27 years as a prisoner in South Africa for opposing apartheid, and then emerged to become his country's first black president
He was bestowed with the Nobel Peace Prize and he became an enduring symbol of integrity, principle and resilience.