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Passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela - Cayman Islands Message

Good evening,

It grieves my heart tonight to have learned of the death of South African hero and former President Nelson Mandela today. He was one of the most beloved leaders of the 20th Century.

His struggle for freedom in South Africa was tireless and it gained him the respect of the world. His compassion, humility and humanity were an inspiration not only to his country, but to many of us in the Cayman Islands who want only to make lives better for our people.

He brought about reconciliation and hope to the people of South Africa and while he was controversial for most of his life, he eventually became a shining light of optimism for all of us, all over the world.

Even in prison - put there because he tried to overthrow the pro-apartheid government - for 27 years at Robben Island, he rallied prisoners and showed leadership skills that would serve him well when he became that country's first fully-representative democratically elected president.

We all knew that he had been ill; in and out of hospital for quite some time. But as in all deaths, expected or not, the loss is a heavy burden on our hearts. This is truly a sad day. But we as a world are in a better place for his service to his fellow man, South Africa and the world.

I and the people of the Cayman Islands send our condolences not only to his family, but to the South African community as well as the Diaspora.

Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA

Cayman Islands

For further information contact: Lennon Christian