Mayor of London's tribute to Nelson Mandela

06 December 2013

In response to the death of Nelson Mandela, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said:

‘When the definitive history of our time is written the name Mandela will stand taller than most - perhaps tallest of them all. Nelson Mandela understood the most powerful tool at his disposal was the power of forgiveness. He faced down the tyranny and oppression of apartheid by embracing unity, by rejecting division, by proving without rancour or recrimination that his way was the right way, the best way, and the only way to bring about change. Londoners, brought up in a city where the values of diversity and equality were celebrated not suppressed, forged a unique bond with Mandela and the struggle he embodied. He was without doubt the pre-eminent statesman of his age. No statesman in history can match him for resilience, for grace, and for forgiveness. A great heart is stilled.’