Stephen Lewis issued the following statement upon the death of Nelson Mandela:
“We are writing to you this evening to share our profound sadness at the loss of Nelson Mandela. He was the personification of decency, love, and courage.
“His lifelong commitment to social justice for all was a beacon to the world. We invite you to join with others and share your thoughts and tributes to Madiba (as he was lovingly known) at www.stephenlewisfoundation. org
“May the depth of our sadness resound with a renewed clarion call to our world leaders, our communities and our own individual determination to make the world a more decent, equitable and better place.
“Nelson Mandela was everything the world has said of him.
“Madiba, as he’s affectionately called, was profound, humble, kind, calm, generous, strategic, funny, brimming with honesty and integrity, occasionally impish and with a heart that seemed as though it could encompass the world.
“And encompass the world, it did. It’s always said that after 27 years in prison he turned the other cheek: in truth, he emerged from the fires of hell with nothing but wisdom and love, for his people and for the planet.
“There will never be such another.”
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
– Conclusion of Mandela’s Rivonia Trial speech, 20 April 1964