TRIBUTES to the late Nelson Mandela have continued to pour in from Staffordshire people.
World leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama are joining tens of thousands of ordinary South Africans for a national memorial service to the country’s first black president in Johannesburg today.
Mandela, who spent 27 years in captivity for his political actions, passed away on Thursday aged 95.
Speaking yesterday Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said: “What I will remember most about him is the way in which he responded to what he had been through – reconciliation and a lack of bitterness – which has meant South Africa has been able to progress, compared to what could have been.
“He was prepared to give up his freedom. He refused to be released until his changes were realised, and the government was prepared to negotiate.”
Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “One of the brightest lights of our world has gone out with the passing of Nelson Mandela.
“When you look back at his life, he was not just a hero of our time, but a hero for all time. The first President of a free South Africa.
“A man who suffered so much for freedom and justice for all the people of South Africa, both black and white, overseeing the transition from Apartheid to the free South Africa of today. A man, who through his dignity and triumph inspired millions around the world with his extraordinary compassion, generosity and forgiveness.
“Families across Britain will mourn with Mandela’s family and everyone in South Africa. He was South Africa’s greatest son.
“His inspiration for the future will be every bit as powerful as the extraordinary things he achieved in his remarkable life as an example how one man can change the world for the better.”