The Trustees and Staff of ACCORD record our sincere condolences to the Chair of our Board, Mrs Graça Machel and to the entire Mandela family for the sad loss of their dear husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. We are eternally grateful for his life and for the sacrifices they endured to give us an inspiring leader of liberation, peace and reconciliation!
It is with pride that we at ACCORD recall these words of Madiba, ‘the principles underpinning ACCORD’s operations are the very ideals for which humanity has striven for centuries – peaceful resolution of conflict, human rights and good governance’. These were his words when he delivered his acceptance of ACCORD’s Africa Peace Award given to him in 1995, in recognition of the same ideals … and Madiba did us proud by sticking steadfastly to these ideals until his death. As we pen these remembrances of this great man, our nation, and nations all across the world, are in mourning over his passing away … and in these moments of contemplation, when we reflect on the life of this great man, we must ask ourselves how we will honour his legacy. He leaves us with lessons of fearlessness and conviction, sacrifice and endurance, patience and principle, and forgiveness and reconciliation. He departs us in a time that is troubled and in dire need of the very lessons his life epitomised. He also leaves a world that knows no equivalent of his remarkable leadership … a leadership that was transformed, through action, into statesmanship and evolved into becoming the conscience of our humanity.
It is true that few who walk this earth will have lived such a life as his … but if each of us remember the energy he invested in the struggle to free us, and the years he endured in prison, resisting his freedom, until we were all free, then we will appreciate that a little time and energy from us to practice his lessons will ensure that his sacrifices were not in vain…this is how we can honour his legacy!
Hamba Kahle Tata … go in peace … know that we at ACCORD shall strive to live up to your ideals … for they too are the ideals for which humanity has striven for centuries!
ACCORD, Durban, South Africa