Press release

Foreign Secretary statement on the death of Nelson Mandela

Foreign Secretary William Hague: Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time.

Following the death of Nelson Mandela, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest moral and political leaders of our time. His life story is a compelling and inspiringly profound political journey. An international icon and inspiration to millions, his appeal transcended race, religion and class. He was at once a leader of immense character and strength, and a man closely attuned to the needs of his people.

Nelson Mandela once wrote, “I don’t think there is much history can say about me.” Yet he will be remembered forever for his lifelong fight against racial oppression, not least during his 27 years of incarceration, and as the first freely elected leader of a multi-racial South Africa. His name will echo down the ages for his immense contribution to his country, to Africa, and to the world, and his tireless work for peace and reconciliation. He set a powerful example to us all of sacrifice and enormous fortitude. His courage, humility and sense of forgiveness have secured his place in history.

He will be greatly missed across the world.

Further information

Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement on the death of Nelson Mandela

Read the statement issued by the press secretary to the Queen

Read the statement from The Prince of Wales about the death of Nelson Mandela

The Deputy Prime Minister’s statement on the death of Nelson Mandela

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