6 December 2013
The ICT industry has expressed its condolences on the death of former president Nelson Mandela, as South Africans – and the world at large – mourn the loss of an icon of justice, peace and democracy; and celebrate his life.
MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa says Mandela leaves behind a rich legacy of reconciliation, world peace and the triumph of the human spirit over all adversity. "He embodied the spirit of human rights and dignity in the way he lived his own life.
"His 50-year fight, including 27 years in jail, helped bring democracy and freedom to our country. Even after 27 years of prison and hardship, only one thing counted for Madiba, as Mandela was affectionately called by his clan name: creating a democratic, prosperous future for all the people of the new SA. This combination of humanity and unique statesmanship made his true greatness manifest for the entire world.
"He never lost his compassion, humility and common humanity. He is an inspiration to us all. He taught us to love ourselves, to love one another and to love our country. So, as we celebrate his selfless efforts on behalf of human dignity, it also represents an enduring challenge for us all," says Dabengwa.
Telkom has offered the use of its Web site as a public platform for people to honour Mandela by posting written tributes and recordings.
MTN South Africa
Chairman of the board Jabu Mabuza says the announcement of Mandela's death has had a deep and profound impact on members of his family, on his countless friends and comrades, on the citizens of SA, and on people across the globe.
"It is with a heavy heart that we offer our condolences to his immediate family and to the wider family of SA. May you all gather strength and courage as we mourn the loss of the father of the nation.
"The only way for us to pay adequate tribute to Mandela is through our thoughts and our actions. We should reflect on his achievements, attained despite the circumstances of his life. We must remember his values, his sense of dignity and his respect for every human being. And we must all act in a manner that continues the tradition of demonstrating humanity towards others, of reaching out to those who are most in need, and of committing ourselves to be of service to the people.
"In this way, we will ensure that Mr Mandela's memory lives on."
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko says the company's employees share the grief of Mandela's family and the entire country. "We pray that his family is blessed with the fortitude they will need to face these enormously difficult times. We all feel like we have lost our father. But we must constantly remind ourselves of what we have gained from Mr Mandela.
"We are all here today, living in a free country, because of the unshakeable beliefs of people like him. He was an exceptional leader, one who was willing to die for what he believed in. His name will always be associated with the concept of ethical leadership, applied consistently, regardless of personal sacrifice.
"Let us all continue to believe in what Mr Mandela stood for throughout his life, and continue to treat each other in a manner that befits these beliefs. In this way, the Nelson Mandela that we have all come to know with pride will never die, but will live forever in our hearts, in our interactions with each other, and in the achievements of our nation," says Maseko.
Cell C says it is with a heavy heart that the company must say farewell to SA's beloved former president, hero and father of the nation.
"We will all remember him for his courage, unwavering strength, his ability to look past people's faults and his kindness and generosity.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the nation. Hamba Kahle Madiba."
The South African Communication Union (SACU) says Mandela was an inspiring figure whose efforts and personal sacrifice inspired not only trade union leaders, but his fellow South Africans in the struggle he led for peace and justice.
"To fully understand and appreciate the exuberance of Mandela, you only had to be in his presence, and hear him speak. I was privileged and honoured to hear him speak, his speech was fundamental to those students at Langa High School in 1992, as they are adults now and some of them are serving in government.
"I hope they take heed and live the values of the inspirational words that Madiba had uttered that day," says SACU president Michael Hare.