Oxfam Australia is saddened to hear of the passing of Nelson Mandela, an extraordinary leader whose immense sacrifice has inspired millions across the world.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke expressed her deepest condolences to the former president’s family and the people of South Africa.
“President Mandela’s vision, courage and sacrifice are an inspiration, but also his forgiveness and reconciliation following the end of apartheid,” Dr Szoke said.
“He has been the most consistent and powerful voice for social justice in the 20th century.”
Mr Mandela – who was often referred to in his home country by his clan name Madiba – was widely revered around the world for his efforts to unify South Africa after the end of apartheid.
After his release from prison in 1990, he led negotiations to make the country a fully representative, multi-racial democracy.
Oxfam has a long history in South Africa, working with people to overcome poverty and injustice.
Oxfam was one of just two charities invited by the ANC to attend Mandela’s inauguration in recognition of its contribution to the cause of justice and equality.
Oxfam’s Country Director in South Africa Allan Moolman said Madiba had always represented the idea of a new and different South Africa.
“He was and is a symbol of our aspiration to be free, our freedom and our hope for a better South Africa and has carried the torch of justice, equality and peace for almost a century,” Mr Moolman said.
“South Africa and the world are poorer for his passing. He was a visionary in a time when the struggle was at its most oppressed.
“It is this vision of hope that led us into a peaceful democracy and enshrined equity into our constitution.
“Madiba’s acts of immense sacrifice have inspired activists and organisations like Oxfam to continue to fight, against all odds, for equality and justice in a very unequal world.”
Contact: Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801