AMs to pay tribute to Mandela

Nelson Mandela will be honoured later when Assembly Members hold a minute's silence at the Senedd. The former South African President died last week.

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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

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