Mandela's death, a tremendous loss - Human Rights Watch

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) - The death of Nelson Mandela is a tremendous loss, not only for South Africa, but for the world, Human Rights Watch said in a statement released shortly after the former South African President died at 20h50 at his home in Johannesburg

“Mandela’s life epitomised the fight for freedom, equality, and justice, all core human rights ideals,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human Rights Watch. “His death reminds us of the uniqueness of his principled and dignified leadership, both in Africa and beyond.”

The New York-based organisation said despite being sentenced to life in prison and spending a total of 27 years in jail until 1990, Mandela preached passionately and without evident bitterness about reconciliation and the need to build a new South African state.

It said a cornerstone of that development is South Africa’s well regarded constitution, which enshrines fundamental values of human dignity, equality, and freedom, as well as the importance of nation building, public participation, and social cohesion.

However, the global rights body said almost two decades into its democracy, South Africa is not the country that Mandela had said he hoped it would become, with inequality and poverty rife, education and health sectors inadequate, and South Africa divided by racial separation and deep economic inequality.

“Mandela led South Africa out of darkness and brutality,” Roth said. “The country’s next generation of leaders would do well to live up to his high standards and fervent commitment to human rights.”
-0- PANA SEG 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 01:06:04

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