Flags fly at half-staff, Governor General, Prime Minister and public sign Book of Condolence following death of Nelson Mandela

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 6TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Flags at Government Headquarters and all government buildings in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are flying at half-staff following the death of South Africa’s first black President, His Excellency Nelson Mandela.

Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joseph Edmeade said flags will remain at half staff until Monday and again on the day of the funeral.

He also announced that a Book of Condolence has been opened on the ground floor of Government Headquarters.

In his message in the Book, Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence on behalf of the People and Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, himself and family “offer heartfelt condolences to the family of President Nelson Mandela and the People and Government of South Africa on the passing of illustrious son and defender Nelson Mandela.”

Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis are deeply saddened on the passing of Nelson Mandela of South Africa

“We are sad because of what he meant to us, a symbol of struggle, triumph and compassion and reconciliation for all our humankind,” said Dr. Douglas, who recalled “compassion, his position on issues and the deep respect he commanded among leaders of the Commonwealth after many long hours of debate whether they were on matters political or on the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett said the entire human race has lost a great man and a freedom fighter.

“I hope that the values and the principles that he stood for continue to live in our hearts and minds,” said Mr. Nisbett.
Attorney General the Hon. Jason Hamilton said his generation has grown up with the belief that the ideals of justice, truth and the equality of mankind are common place.

“This fact is testimony to the impact that he has had on our generation as there was such a time when those ideals were practice sparingly,” said Mr. Hamilton.

“Our life and work have been impacted by his life of service to all humanity. We wish his entire family blessed comfort at this time of bereavement,” said Minister of Education, the Hon. Nigel Carty.

Nelson Mandela, who guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation, died Thursday at age 95.

Mandela will be laid to rest at his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Dec. 15, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

A week of national mourning would include an open-air memorial service at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium – the site of the 2010 World Cup final – on Dec. 10, South African President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma said.

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