From the TUC

TUC mourns with COSATU: Mandela’s legacy must live on

05 Dec 2013, By

Nelson Mandela statue, Southbank, London

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has joined those around the world paying tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died tonight. In her letter to COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini, she wrote:

“We must, on this occasion, redouble our commitment to the cause of justice, equality and freedom that he fought and campaigned for all his life, and we send COSATU our continuing solidarity and comradeship.”

Our main sister organisation in South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has issued the following statement:

“South Africans saddened by the passing on of a statesman, an icon of social justice, a global citizen, a colossus of freedom. RIP Madiba.”

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow described him as:

“a giant of a political and spiritual leader whose courage and humility will always be a beacon for justice.”

Many words are already being broadcast on Mandela’s legacy, his importance and the changes he wrought in South Africa. In his later years, he also stressed the political nature of global poverty, saying:

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”

So as we mourn, we should recognise his overwhelming significance as the personification of the idea that progressive change is possible, and that people can make that change happen.

One Response to TUC mourns with COSATU: Mandela’s legacy must live on

  1. Alison Shepherd
    Dec 6th 2013, 11:18 am

    Glad to see the immediate tribute to Nelson Mandela from the TUC. Today feels as momentous as the day he was released. I do hope that his passing will inspire a new generation of trade union and political leaders in South Africa facing new challenges and that our friendships stay strong.