Nelson Mandela, former South Africa president and anti-apartheid icon, died today after a long bout with lung cancer. He was 95.
After being jailed for 27 years, Mandela, more affectionately known as 'Mandiba,' led peaceful protests to end apartheid and eventually to democracy. He was revered not only by the people in South Africa, but his leadership legacy have earned the respect of people all around the world.
World Evangelical Alliances, one of the three largest Christian bodies in the world, released a statement offering condolences and tribute to the former South Africa president and the country's anti-apartheid icon. With praise and sorrow, the African evangelical leaders call upon Africans to emulate Mandela, who personified the Christian values of reconciliation and forgiveness. They also call on people of goodwill to pray for Mandela family and the nation of South Africa during the period of grief and mourning.
Rev. Moss Ntlha, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) says: "Madiba is considered by many as the father of the nation. He modelled firm confrontation with evil and injustice, and magnanimity in his triumph over those who sought his destruction. His passing calls to mind the prophetic tradition of Micah that says: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)"
Rev. Ndaba Mazabane, a local Pastor and the Chair of WEA, commented: "Mr Mandela was a remarkable man; even in his death, our nation is united in grief and in celebrating his legacy. We may not fully know much about his spiritual life as he tended to keep this side of his life private and personal, but the little he showed us such as the selfless and servant-like attitude will forever remain with us as an example worth emulating."
Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabenje, the General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) lamented: "The life of Madiba is yet another proof and reminder about the origin, nature and commonality of the human species; created in the image of God with ability to reflect some of God's attributes though vainly because of finitude, fallenness with feet of clay; regardless of race or geographical location. Heartfelt condolences to immediate family members and the people of South Africa. May his exemplary leadership inspire African leaders."
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary-General of WEA says: "The world has lost a great leader. Nelson Mandela was a model of courage, vision and personal sacrifice. Today more than ever we need this kind of leadership. May the memory of Nelson Mandela inspire a new generation of such leaders around the world."