Industry leaders mourn Mandela

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Former president Nelson Mandela is seen at his home in Cape Town in 2008. File photo: Rodger Bosch

MTN Group president and chief executive Sifiso Dabengwa:

Nelson Mandela leaves behind a rich legacy of reconciliation, world peace, and the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

He never lost his compassion, humility and common humanity. He’s an inspiration to us all. He taught us to love ourselves, to love one another and to love our country.

Standard Bank chief executives Sim Tshabalala and Ben Kruger:

The world has indeed lost one of the greatest leaders of our time.

Tata Madiba chose to sacrifice everything to fight for the freedom of his people. He dedicated himself to the upliftment of South Africans and fought throughout his life against intolerance, racism, injustice and inequality.

All of us admired him for his wisdom, vision, humility, intellect, and his integrity.

We have had the honour of engaging with Tata Madiba on several occasions, dealing with matters public and private. He was a towering presence in any conversation.

Cas Coovadia, Banking Association of SA managing director:

Nelson Mandela may have departed but he has left us a legacy which will live on in the millions who continue to defend and advance the freedoms, the values and ideals for which he stood. It is a legacy of courage, conviction and a belief in the equality of all people.

National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni:

It is time that as South Africans we reflect on the legacy he left behind and the future we have to craft for generations to come.

JSE Limited chief executive Nicky Newton-King:

Nelson Mandela’s global statesmanship made him one of the most revered leaders the world has known. His attention to all he met, combined with his ability to listen and to understand those on the other side, were a few of the reasons so many people in the world today have been influenced by Nelson Mandela, including some who were his former adversaries.

Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in South Africa:

It is a sad day for South Africa, but I hope that South Africans will unite in Mandela’s memory to re-ignite his dream of a truly democratic country at peace with itself.”

Richard Gray, chief executive of Harcourts South Africa:

We in the real estate industry should never forget that in democratising our society in South Africa, Mandela completely normalised and saved our housing market. But this is one practical example of how his ideals of forgiveness and conciliation have given everyone in South Africa, and many others around the world, a completely different life than they might otherwise have had. He remains our biggest hero.

Nafcoc president Reverend Joe Hlongwane:

As black business, we have lost a friend, and we owe many of our successes over the years to his exemplary leadership in ensuring that black people take their rightful place in the commanding heights of the South African economy. Madiba was the man of the century and our generation has been fortunate to have had the blessing of his leadership. He is a man who taught the world how to forgive and we should emulate him.

Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George:

Tata Madiba is undoubtedly the biggest icon ever to emerge from South Africa, and his contribution to South African history can never be sufficiently emphasised.

I can still recall when, after being elected as president, he wanted to meet with Fedusa. When his office phoned we indicated that we were more than prepared to see him at the Union Buildings, but we were told that he insisted on meeting us at our offices.

Johan van Zyl, chief executive of Toyota South Africa Motors:

Mandela will be remembered for many things and Toyota will celebrate his contribution to opening South Africa to the world. Under his watchful eye, and subsequent governments, South Africa has made its voice heard and has changed from a local vehicle supplier to a large exporter that exports Proudly South African Toyota models to nearly 60 countries across the globe.

We hope our continued investment in and development of the South African economy will be a fitting tribute to his dreams for South Africa and its people.

Business Leadership SA:

As with many South Africans, we share the grief over the loss of one of the country’s greatest leaders who played a crucial role in unifying our country, leading the transition to democracy, and laying the foundations for economic growth.

Peugeot Citroën South Africa:

Madiba’s contribution to South Africa is immeasurable. As a nation we have lost an icon, an inspirational leader, a fighter for freedom, and a man of unquestionable integrity and courage. He closed his eyes so that we can open ours.

Brian Molefe, Transnet chief executive:

He personified the spirit of forgiveness, love and compassion – rare attributes in any age of our collective histories. Our nation has been blessed with an individual of such rare stature. Tata, may you be warmly welcomed in the arms of our comrades – Albert Luthuli, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko, OR Tambo, Joe Slovo, Pixley ka Seme, Bambatha kaMancinza, Ruth First and Makhanda Nxele. Give them our love and avow to them that our dream of freedom lives on.

Johannes Möller, AgriSA president:

Mandela’s zeal for a free society and equal opportunities for all made him a highly respected leader worldwide. Mandela regularly reminded South Africans that freedom came with responsibilities. In his own words: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom, comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

SA Chamber of Mines:

During his term as our country’s first democratically elected president he raised the stature of South Africa… as a secure destination for hope, growth, and investment, especially in the mining sector.

In an address to the Chamber of Mines shortly after his election, Mandela said the following about the mining industry: “You have the capacity not only to be a reliable economic generator for South Africa and the region as a whole, but also to contribute to the building of a society freed from the faults and fissures which marred our past.”

The Financial Services Board executive officer, Dube Tshidi:

Tata was always looking at the bigger picture and while he would agree that as a country we have come a long way and achieved a lot, he would look at what more needs to be done. It is incumbent on us as an institution to take the baton and continue seeking solutions to realise his dream of creating a better life for all in South Africa and the rest of the world. – Staff reporters and Sapa

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