CARICOM Chair to represent Community at Memorial  Service for Mandela
December 10, 2013
CARICOM Chair to represent Community at Memorial Service for Mandela

CARICOM is being represented today, in Johannesburg, at the Official State Memorial Service of Nelson Mandela, by Chair of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.{{more}}

The Heads of Government of The Bahamas (Perry Christie), Guyana (Donald Ramotar), Jamaica (Portia Simpson Miller) and Suriname (Desi Bouterse) will also be in attendance at that Memorial for the first democratically elected President of South Africa, former Head of the African National Congress and International Icon, a release from CARICOM said. The President of Haiti Michel Martelly will travel to South Africa for the State Funeral to be held on Sunday, December 15.

CARICOM, through messages from its Chair, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; other Heads of Government of the Community and through the Secretary-General, joined the rest of the world in mourning the death and honouring the life of Mandela and in extending deepest condolences to his widow Ms Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family as well as to the government and people of South Africa.

According to the Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister Persad Bissessar “Mr. Mandela displayed qualities which defined the zenith of human behaviour. Forgiveness, humility, integrity and undying love for his fellow human beings, particularly for his country and its people were his hallmark. He led a life that which may make emulation almost impossible. His struggles, redemption and victory took us to the zenith of human possibility and left a legacy of inestimable value to the world.”

The Caribbean Community was privileged to have Mr Mandela grace its 25th Anniversary celebrations in Saint Lucia, in 1998, where he met with Heads of Government. His buoyant spirit and ebullient sense of humour endeared him to all, exemplified as he rose from his seat and danced to the music at the concert to mark the occasion, the release said.

“The simplicity with which he conducted his life shone through in the manner in which he interacted with all who came into contact with him. His example of sacrifice for principle and ideals in defiance of unspeakable atrocities meted out to his people and denial of his own liberty has inspired millions around the world. His stature was defined by his policy of reconciliation without recrimination and bitterness,” the release ended.