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Millions of people around the globe have been mourning Nelson Mandela today but for one man from Tynemouth his passing has particular significance.
Archie Sibeko shared a cell with the former South African president for a year as they both fought against Apartheid.
Now settled in the North East, the 85-year-old spoke to our Correspondent Gregg Easteal about the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.
The Sunderland manager, Gus Poyet, has said his team will pay their respects to Nelson Mandela this weekend.
Sunderland is a Legacy Advocate for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the only football club in the world to form such a partnership.
Gus Poyet's players will wear black armbands at tomorrow’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur at the Stadium of Light.
Mourners gathered in central Newcastle today to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela.
Sunderland will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela ahead of their Premier League clash withTottenham Hotspur.
Players, officials and the Stadium of Light crowd will pay tribute to the former South African President.
Sunderland AFC is a Legacy Advocate for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the only football club in the world to form such a partnership. Sunderland’s players will wear black armbands at tomorrow’s game.
The club’s Chief Executive Margaret Byrne said: “The thoughts of everyone at Sunderland AFC are with the family of Mr Mandela, our friends and colleagues at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the people of South Africa.”
Archie Sibeko was born in 1928 in the Eastern Cape. He attended Lovedale in the 1940s and gained a diploma in Agriculture.
He moved to Cape Town and became involved in the trade union movement. In 1955, Sibeko became a founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions.
He joined the African National Congress in 1955 and the South African Communist Party and became involved in its political activities.
His involvement lead to his arrest and trial. Together with Nelson Mandela and 154 others, he was tried in the 1956 Treason Trial. He shared a prison cell with Mandela.
Sibeko also goes by the name of Zola Zembe. Sibeko now lives in Tynemouth.
Archie Sibeko, who lives in Tynemouth, has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died aged 95. We will be speaking to the man who shared a prison cell with the first black president of South Africa.
Vera Baird has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela who died yesterday aged 95.
– Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner
“His compassion and forgiveness were real and unimaginable to most people, after his imprisonment for 29 years.
His palpable example was so important to all the people of South Africa, of every colour and racial origin, to promote the cause of reconciliation amongst them.
“He led an entire generation who championed a world cause against apartheid in South Africa and many people, who were continents away from the struggle, worshipped him.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird paid tribute to Nelson Mandela who died aged 95. She has described him as the “greatest freedom fighter”, adding South Africa’s first black president had led "an entire generation". Vera Baird met Mr Mandela at a ceremony where she became a QC.
East Coast is running a revised timetable. Large parts of the route are expected to be affected by heavy wind and rain. Passengers are advised to allow extra travel time.
The sister of former paratrooper Nick Dunn has said the family "absolutely need him home for Christmas". Nick Dunn, from Ashington, has been accused of illegally possessing weapons and is being held by the Indian authorities.
Lisa Dunn was with her and Nick's mother, Margaret, when she spoke to our Correspondent Gregg Easteal.