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06 Dec 2013

HSRC pays tribute to former President Nelson Mandela

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) wishes to extend its condolences to the family of the former President of the South Africa, Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, who passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, 5 December 2013. 

“Today we mourn the loss of our former President, with his family and the people of South Africa”, said HSRC CEO Professor Olive Shisana. “But it is also with great appreciation that we take note of an extraordinary man, a great leader, the founding father of our democratic South Africa, and a comrade. He was so dearly loved and we will miss him very much.

“He fought for justice, he was a hero and a great light has gone from this world. He was pivotal in the fight against HIV/AIDS in this country, he was humble, believed in fairness and in the equality of all people regardless of race or ethnic group, and he was above all a formidable leader.”

Deputy CEO of Research at the HSRC, Dr Temba Masilela, added his voice by saying a distinctive feature of Mr Mandela was “his resonance with and appeal to the whole of humanity”.

Ms Nasima Badsha, chair of the HSRC Board, commended Mr Mandela’s work on HIV/AIDS with the HSRC in producing the first ever Nelson Mandela/HSRC study of HIV/AIDS, the South African national HIV prevalence, behavioural risks and mass media household survey, 2002.
“Through his trusted advisor, the late Prof Jakes Gerwel and former chair of the HSRC Board, Mr Mandela supported the HSRC in its work on HIV/AIDS at the time when the government was in denial about the extent of the problem.”

A former employee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and director at the HSRC, Ms Bridgette Prince, says Mr Mandela focused on two crucial issues facing South Africa, namely health and education. She relates how Madiba identified traditional leaders and chiefs as essential to the fight against the epidemic.

“This resulted in a joint programme which saw him travelling throughout South Africa in an attempt to influence and train them on how they were able to play a pivotal role in supporting people with HIV in their communities”, Prince says. 

Hamba Kahle Madiba.  Hamba kahle Madiba. May your soul rest in peace.

End

Issued by: HSRC’s Communication & Stakeholder Relations Office.
For more information contact: Mr Julian A Jacobs on 021-4668042 or 082 454 4902.

Note to the Editor:

The HSRC has written several books on the life and legacy of former President Nelson Mandela, which are:

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