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World: East Anglia pays tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela

PUBLISHED: 10:26 06 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:43 06 December 2013

Tributes have been paid to Nelson Mandela
Credit: Daniel Berehulak/PA Wire

Tributes have been paid to Nelson Mandela Credit: Daniel Berehulak/PA Wire

Figures in East Anglia have paid tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, who has died at the age of 95.

The Rt Rev David Thomson, acting Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said: “Nelson Mandela has been a towering figure of our generation, a secular saint, whose Christian faith, natural authority and strong sense of justice made him the perfect choice to lead South Africa out of apartheid into the rainbow nation of today.

“He has been an inspiration to others in their own struggles worldwide, and his place in history is guaranteed. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Priti Patel, the MP for Witham and UK Indian Diaspora Champion, said: “Nelson Mandela was the last of the truly great 20th Century figures, a global icon who transcended race barriers, who had a unique ability to forgive, unify and embrace his former opponents and became an inspiration for a generation.

“He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today.

“He inspired love as much as respect, and became regarded by hundreds of millions of people as a political giant who helped bring humanity closer together.

“I send my condolences to the family members of the late President Mandela and to the people of South Africa.”

Dr Richard Carr, research fellow in history at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “Nelson Mandela was an inspiration not only to millions of South Africans, but to those who champion the cause of freedom across the globe.

“If Hitler or Stalin illustrated humanity at its worst in the tumultuous 20th Century, here was a man who demonstrated it at its best.

“Mandela challenged the status quo in a manner more contemporary politicians can only dream – a revolutionary in words and in actions. He is someone who must not, nor will not, be forgotten.”

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