French Presidency statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela
Paris, 5 December 2013
Nelson Mandela has made history. History of South Africa. History of the entire world.
A tireless fighter against apartheid, he has defeated it by his courage, persistence and perseverance.
Despite personal trials and the endless humiliations of a detention that lasted 27 years, he could not only overthrow a despicable regime, but reconcile South Africans and uphold democracy.
Throughout all these years Nelson Mandela was the epitome of the South African Nation, the cement of its unity and the pride of all Africa. He mobilized all its forces for his country to take its rightful place among the major world powers. He committed himself to find solutions to conflicts that had gone on for too long. Until the end of his life, he has served peace.
Nelson Mandela ’s message does not disappear , it will continue to inspire freedom fighters and give confidence to the people in defense of just causes and universal rights.
Nelson Mandela has been an exceptional resistance fighter and magnificent conqueror.
He showed that the human will can not only break the chains of bondage but also liberate its energies to successfully build a common destiny.
France joins the infinite sadness of the people of South Africa .
I present to Graça Machel, the family and friends of Nelson Mandela, the deepest condolences of the French people.