Words cannot express the profound sadness I feel at the passing of Madiba, whose life and message has been an inspiration for the world. While he passes from this physical world, his vision, his strength and courage, his perseverance and integrity, his humility and magnanimity are a shining example to all those who strive to create a better and more just world, and will remain so for generations to come.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known him and for being able to call him my friend. I was privileged to deliver his 91st birthday celebration lecture in the presence of Madiba, which was live telecast nationally, in Johannesburg in 2009. This I consider to be one of the happiest occasions of my life.
I convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you, Graça, and to the rest of your family, and pray that you can find the strength to bear this unfathomable loss. I hope you will find some comfort in knowing that the entire world mourns with you at this time.
Rest In Peace Madiba.