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From Robben Island to Mandela Avenue: Harlow pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

News / Fri 6th Dec 2013 am31 07:56am

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HARLOW politicians have paid tribute to former South African president, Nelson Mandela, who has passed away at the age of 95.

Harlow re-named two of its streets (Mandela Avenue and Kitson Way) in the seventies to pay tribute to those who were being oppressed by the system of apartheid.

A book of condolence is being prepared at the civic offices in Harlow.

Harlow MP. Robert Halfon said: “Nelson Mandela saved South Africa and spoke for tolerance across the world.

“He taught that leadership and statesmanship is better than demagogery and populism.

“I am proud that Harlow has a Mandela Avenue and that Mandela’s values of tolerance and kindness are prevalent in our town.

“I am sure that Harlow Council will open a book of condolence and that the flags at the Civic Centre will be flown at half-mast.”

Labour candidate Suzy Stride said:”I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela.

“Having visited the cell that Mandela spent 27 years in on Robben island it is hard if not impossible to comprehend his ability to forgive the past and fight for reconciliation.

“Nelson Mandela was an incredible man who was humble and so full of vision. His ability to forgive his enemies but also to lead his country in forgiveness, set a standard in history.

“His legacy to leave the past behind a fight for a better future speaks to all of us today in the different injustices we are fighting for.

I spent two years from 2008 living in South Africa and working for a time in a township amongst the poor. I saw some of the cruel scars of the apartheid government but also the hope that Mandela brought to the next generation.

He was a man that “bent the moral arc of the universe towards justice” and his legacy and inspiration will live on.

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