The family of late Honorable Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Johannesburg, South Africa

At this difficult time of mourning, I wish to extend– together with my family, government and people of Rwanda – our heartfelt condolences to you, and the entire nation of the Republic of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela represented much of what is remarkable about the human spirit: the courage to confront injustice and affronts to human dignity, the vision needed to unite a fractured society, and the humility evidenced in always pointing to a cause greater than himself and refusing the moral pedestal that he could have been offered.

In addition, because of his example, millions in South Africa, and the Continent at large, felt a strong sense of pride and in particular, saw that forgiveness is not a show of weakness, but actually one of strength – allowing people to move forward with their lives in a dignified manner. Rwandans have lived this specific experience he embodied and will remember with great respect the personal sacrifice that Mandela made for the unity of his fellow South Africans.

Although the loss is a painful one, allow us to join you also in celebrating his life and inspiring legacy – one that will live on for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and may this great son of Africa rest in peace.


Paul Kagame