Pretoria, 13 December 2013

Today in Pretoria, President Kagame paid his last respect to Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings where his body laid in state for the last day before the state funeral this Sunday.

Speaking to the press following the viewing of the body, President Kagame paid tribute to Nelson Mandela:

“It is a moment that I needed to take, to pay my last respects to President Mandela. President Mandela embodies the kind of leadership, vision and resilience people need to be able to fulfill the responsibilities that leaders have towards those they lead.”

President Kagame described Nelson Mandela’s legacy as one that should serve as an example for all:

What Mandela symbolizes is not just African. It goes beyond Africa. On the continent and beyond, there are lessons to learn from what the President, the man and the leader went through in his many years of life.”

In an earlier tribute that appeared in The Time, President Kagame described Nelson Mandela as a politician who never ceased working towards the greater good:

He never stopped striving towards concrete political ends; never missed a chance to plead his case or cause; never wavered from the struggle. To point out that Nelson Mandela was, above all, a politician is not to diminish his remarkable legacy, but rather to remind the world that politicians are capable of remarkable things.

In the same tribute, President Kagame added that Nelson Mandela’s leadership remains unique:

There is no doubting Mandela’s virtues as a moral exemplar and inspirational figure. There is no modern leader who has done more to deserve the waves of praise and mourning that his passing has unleashed.