Politicians pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

A NUMBER OF Thurrock politicians have paid tribute to the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who has passed away at the age of 95.

MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe said:

“Nelson Mandela was one of the most influential figures of recent times who changed not only the face of a nation but also the world. Although he retired from public life some years ago, his passing will leave the world a lesser place.

“His enduring legacy will be that however complex and challenging a problem is, he showed us that with determination, stamina, care and good humour, unfathomable solutions to the most intractable problems can be found.

“In his own immortal words: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Prospective parliamentary candidate for SBET, Mike Le-Surf said: “Nelson Mandela’s fight for freedom and democracy is a constant reminder that we all have the power and obligation to challenge injustice and try to make the world a better place for everyone.

“No-one is free when the poorest and most vulnerable people remain oppressed and the Labour party was proud to stand with the people of South Africa in solidarity against apartheid. His legacy is hope and his life was an inspiration.”

Prospective parliamentary candidate for Thurrock (Labour), Polly Billington said: “Nelson Mandela was truly an inspiration. His determination to change the world and fight injustice reminds is that even when the odds are stacked against us good can prevail. Like many people of my generation one of my first political acts was to march against apartheid, angry at injustice and with hope that we could change things. His leadership has transformed a nation and been a beacon of hope in the world. The future will be a better place if we continue to be inspired by him.

The leader of the Thurrock Conservatives, Phil Anderson said: “For those of us who grew up in the 1980s, Nelson Mandela will always represent the hope that the world can change. In an era when not just apartheid but the Berlin wall, nuclear stalemate, and starvation in Africa all seemed unbreakable, Mandela came to embody the idea that a visionary in a prison cell can be more powerful than all the governments and armies of the world combined.

“Then as President of a new South Africa he showed that truth and reconciliation, rather than corruption and retribution, are the foundations on which a nation must be built. The world has lost a great statesman, but his legacy will continue to challenge and inspire us as we face the new problems of the 21st century.”

South Chafford councillor, Tunde Ojetola said: “Nelson Mandela was truly inspirational. He sacrificed most of his adult life for what he stood for. We should learn from him.”

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