The University of the West Indies joins in extending deepest condolences to the Government and people of South Africa on the death of former President Nelson Mandela.

One of the most remarkable human beings of this century, Nelson Mandela showed the world the true meaning of strength in the face of adversity. His struggle for equal rights for South Africans, black and white, remains a clarion call for all mankind to acknowledge and embrace the fact that we are all one human race.

Mr. Mandela was the epitome of humanity, strength of character and his capacity for forgiveness was without equal. His vision of “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities” for his beloved South Africa was partly realised during his lifetime and we can only hope that his successors will continue to strive towards achieving his vision.

In 1991 The University was honoured to confer upon him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. The words of our distinguished Public Orator as he welcomed the Hon. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela are particularly emotive:

“… visionary, freedom-fighter, statesman and patriot, mentor to the young and to all who prefer liberation to mental slavery, this prophet, priest and in his own way king, warrior, compassionate, peacemaker defiant, visionary pragmatic and man for all seasons, this lodestar for all who wish to be on the right side of history …”

Nelson Mandela was all this and more and, along with the rest of the world, we at The University of the West Indies mourn our collective loss of a great man.

E. Nigel Harris
Vice-Chancellor