Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to fighting for the freedom of his people, Standard Bank said on Friday.
“The world has indeed lost one of the greatest leaders of our time,” chief executives Sim Tshabalala and Ben Kruger said in a statement.
“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.”
For his ideals and his commitment, Mandela paid a heavy price.
“Throughout his life he was a pillar of strength and source of inspiration to oppressed people all over the world,” they said.
“All of us admired him for his wisdom, vision, humility, intellect, and his integrity.”
Tshabalala and Kruger sent their condolences to the Mandela family.
“We grieve with you. At the same time, we celebrate the life of this great man who loved this country so much.
“We are saddened, as are millions of people around the country and indeed around the world, by the irreplaceable loss of a great man, a founding father of our great nation, a remarkable statesman and one of the most steadfast and visionary leaders of recent times.”
They said South Africa was grateful for his leadership at the most challenging times in South Africa's history.
“The many thousands of people who had the privilege to meet Tata Madiba over the past 20 years will surely each have their own moment of memory to cherish,” they said.
“We have had the honour of engaging with Tata Madiba on several occasions, dealing with matters both public and private.”
He was a towering presence in any conversation, they said.
“His memory will forever be treasured by the freedom-loving peoples of the world for the life-long dedication he showed to the liberation of the... oppressed.”
President Jacob Zuma announced that Mandela died on Thursday night at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, at the age of 95. - Sapa