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UWP HONORS AN EXTRAORDINARY MAN
CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Friday 06th December , 2013 – As tributes pour in from
all over the world on the death of Nelson Mandela, the United Workers
Party would like to add our voice to honour this extra-ordinary man. Despite
the advanced age of 95 and a prolonged illness, the world is still stunned by
the passing of a man who is considered to be among the ranks of the greatest
of the 20th century.
What has made Nelson Mandela so admired by world leaders and people of
all races the world over? It was his uncommon humanity and the courage it
took to forgive those who sent him to prison for27 years, based on his
political beliefs which were rooted in democracy and the equality of all
citizens of South Africa, regardless of the colour of their skin. What was
remarkable about Mandela and made him a household name throughout the
world was the expectation that his imprisonment would make him a bitter
and angry man, who would seek revenge against those who put walls around
him for 27 years. But imprisonment transformed him. His embarkation on a
path of peace among South Africans became the centre-piece of his political
philosophy and his life, which avoided the descension into violence and
anarchy that would have resulted in the change from white to black rule. He
embraced peace, freedom and racial equality as the basis of the relationship
not only among South Africans, but of man’s relationship with each other in
the rest of the world.
This messenger of Freedom and Racial Equality demonstrated that a man
with a moral conscience can inspire all mankind. He was able to convince
his people that freedom and equality could be achieved by peaceful means.
He exuded a dignified presence by his grace and gentle nature and his
playful smile. He never appeared to be angry, always smiling. He taught the
world the value of the principles of peace and freedom, and did not display
the distant and arrogant posture that most leaders assume on getting into
The lesson that humanity has learned from the life of Nelson Mandela is that
an antagonistic and hostile posture are not necessary, because civilized
discourse brings a people to a higher level in the development of a more
harmonious and progressive society.
There are many anecdotal stories about Mandela that revealed the heart and
spirit of the man, who never lost the common touch and would always
engage the staff by the habit he had of always visiting the staff in the kitchen
when he was entertained by world leaders. He never forgot old friends, and
the story is told that on his visit of St. Lucia he asked about his old friend Sir
John and to arrange to meet him personally.
There is much that we as a nation can learn from the life of Nelson Mandela,
that more is achievable through respectful dialogue and engagement, than
hostile postures. And by his transformation he was able to overcome the
terrible system of apartheid in South Africa. It is the pursuit of selfish and
personal agendas that account for the pain and unspeakable suffering that
prevails in the world today. Mandela shows that with dialogue and peace
that we can overcome the darkness and misery that still consume parts of
this world. Nelson Mandela will long be remembered as a man who spread
the cry of freedom and peace throughout our world.
May he rest in peace.