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WWF is deeply saddened by the news of former president Nelson Mandela’s passing. We express our heartfelt condolences to the family and close friends of Madiba; they are in our thoughts during this difficult time.
Together with the people of South Africa and the international community, we mourn the loss of one of the world’s most widely recognised figures.
“Nelson Mandela was and remains an inspiration to all South Africans. He was a man of great integrity and one of the world’s exceptional leaders. We will greatly miss him, but take much from the legacy he has left as we continue our work to better our environment, our society, ourselves,” said Dr Morné du Plessis, the CEO of WWF South Africa.
Mandela played a vital role in shaping our country. From his days as a political activist to his tenure as president between 1994 and 1999, his contribution to help building a rainbow nation will remain etched in the hearts and minds of millions of people.
Du Plessis adds, “Tata Madiba has a very special place in the hearts of our network as he was presented WWF’s Gift to the Earth award in 1998. Under his presidency, Mandela created the Cape Peninsula National Park which is home to one of the world’s seven wonders of nature, Table Mountain. This was of paramount conservation significance as the 30 000 hectares park protects the Cape Floral Kingdom.”
As Mandela once said, "I believe that South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased, but when you combine the natural beauty of South Africa with the friendliness and cultural diversity of our people, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa's most splendid wildlife, then I think even the most scrupulous critic would agree that we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land." With the inspiration of his words, we continue to work to inspire all of South Africa’s people to live in harmony with nature.