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Brussels, 5 December 2013
Joint message by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, on the passing away of Nelson Mandela
This is a very sad day not only for South Africa, but for the entire international community. We mourn the death of one of the greatest political figures of our times. Nelson Mandela was not only key in transforming South Africa into the democratic country it is today.
Nelson Mandela represents the fight against racism, political violence and intolerance. He represents justice, freedom and respect for human rights. He taught us all a major lesson in reconciliation, political transition and social transformation. Only a person with his profound humanity, moral integrity and authority and clear vision for the future of his country, could have achieved this.
While we grieve today, there is no better way we can honour his memory than by reaffirming our collective commitment to uphold the values of true and deep democracy for which Nelson Mandela fought tirelessly.
On behalf of the European Union, we convey our most heartfelt condolences to his family and to the government and people of South Africa.