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Tributes to Mandela from world of rugby

Tributes are pouring in for Nelson Mandela from the world of rugby. International rugby referee Nigel Owens met Mandela. He said it was an "honour" and a privilege" to meet him.

Twitter tributes to Mandela from Wales' public figures


Jamie Roberts: 'Nothing but respect' for Mandela

Wales International rugby player Jamie Roberts has been tweeting his reaction following the death of Nelson Mandela and says that he has "nothing but respect for him".

He also said that the 1995 Rugby World Cup was a great example of "how sport can unite".

Andrew RT Davies: Mandela 'a global inspiration'

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has hailed Nelson Mandela as 'a global inspiration'. Following the death of the first black president of South Africa, Andrew RT Davies AM praised Mandela's "tremendous will, incredible humility, and resolute commitment to democracy".

"Nelson Mandela was - and always be - a global inspiration. His was a life that has defined what it means to be truly great.

"His tremendous will, incredible humility, and resolute commitment to democracy, justice and freedom have transformed history and changed the world.

"More than an international icon, more than an enduring legacy; Nelson Mandela's name and actions will forever be etched in our history.

"His spirit, integrity and humility have inspired me, as I know they have many more across Wales - and all over the world."

– Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

FM: Mandela will be remembered 'for generations'

Carwyn Jones has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and says that the former South African leader will be remembered "for generations to come" and that he faced his struggle "with dignity".

For all that we did, we didn't have to confront apartheid on a daily basis. We didn't have to run the risk of imprisonment or worse. Nelson Mandela faced his struggle with dignity and without bitterness and that is why he will be remembered for generations to come.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones

First Minister: Mandela 'changed history of a nation'

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones says Nelson Mandela was "one of the greatest figures of modern times".

"Nelson Mandela can be truly described as one of the greatest figures of modern times. Not many people can claim to have changed the history of their nation for the better, by bringing together what was then a bitterly divided society.

"His message of forgiveness, of reconciliation for the sake of a better future is one all of us should follow. He described himself as an ordinary man, but he represented the best of humankind and he will be greatly missed.

"In Wales, we had a proud record of opposing apartheid. I remember in the 1980s when I was a student, taking part in the anti-apartheid protests whilst all over the country schools, councils, universities, the Welsh Rugby Union and others all played their small part in opposing such an inhuman regime. When President Mandela visited Wales in 1998, he thanked the Welsh people for their support - it was a moment we will never forget."

– First Minister, Carwyn Jones


Assembly flags to fly at half-mast on day of funeral

The National Assembly for Wales’s Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM, has paid tribute to former South African President and figurehead of the anti-apartheid movement Nelson Mandela.

As a mark of respect the Assembly will fly its flags at half-mast today and on the day of the funeral.

These days we often apply the description great to people but Nelson Mandela truly was a great human being, but what he did after his release from prison marks him out as a significant figure in world history.

He worked closely with his former oppressors to end apartheid and to ensure the transition from white-minority rule to free multi-racial elections in South Africa.

Once elected President, he put national reconciliation at the top of his agenda and ensured the broadest coalition in his cabinet, making F W De Klerk Deputy President.

He ensured there was no drive to punish white Afrikaners by removing them from government jobs or implementing other punitive measures.

This approach rightly won praise from around the world and although there was violence during the transition period, there is no doubt that Nelson Mandela’s leadership stopped it from escalating into something more deadly.

That was the greatness of the man. Despite everything he as an individual, and black South Africans as a people, went through during the apartheid years, he was able to work with those oppressors in order to achieve a free and democratic South Africa for all.

The world has been left a much better place by his contribution.

– Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer

Plaid Cymru: 'The world mourns a great man'

The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela saying "he was a truly great man who really did change the world".

"The world today mourns a great man who has inspired generations and whose achievements will last forever. "Very few people succeed in bringing about truly significant change in their lifetime. Nelson Mandela certainly was one of those individuals and the legacy of his achievements will live on in South Africa and throughout the world.

"The people of Wales can be proud of having stood in solidarity with Nelson Mandela in his struggle against apartheid, something that he recognised upon his visit to Wales in 1998 when he was granted the freedom of Cardiff. "While our thoughts are with his family at this sad time, they can take solace in the knowledge that he was a truly great man who really did change the world."

– Leanne Wood, leader, Plaid Cymru

First Minister pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

The First Minister has paid tribute to the former South African leader who has died at the age of 95.

Carwyn Jones described Nelson Mandela as "one of the greatest figures of modern times".

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