Today we mourn the passing of one of the world’s greatest leaders – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. On this saddest of days our thoughts go first and foremost to his wife Graça Machel, to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to Winnie Madikizela Mandela as well as his closest friends and comrades.
We are deeply grateful to Mr. Mandela for what he did for South Africa as a nation, for Africa and for the world. We can take comfort from the fact that our own grief is shared by hundreds of millions of people across the world who have been touched by his extraordinary courage, compassion, gentleness and humility.
The sadness we feel today is borne out of the fact that he was a source of great inspiration for all of us. He led us with great humanity, he gave us his love and he showed us compassion when we most needed it. Madiba inspired us to be better human beings, to treat one another with respect and to be bound by our common humanity for the common good.
He lived by a set of values that we should continue to cherish because they are as necessary now as they were before the dawn of democracy in South Africa. They were courage, compassion, unshakeable integrity, confidence tempered with humility, the ability to think about the future, and to put others ahead of ourselves.
He taught a special brand of courage. He showed that courage was about the ability to make a decision when it is not the most popular one and that being courageous involved confronting our fears. For Madiba, courage was “not the absence of fear”, but the ability to “inspire others to move beyond it”.
Madiba believed in human rights and humanity and the belief and hope that these would triumph. Let us not forget the good that he has bequeathed us. Our responsibility is to preserve what he stood for, vigilantly guarding against discrimination and disregard for other people. By doing so, we will ensure that his legacy lives on.
Let us stand together as we mourn the loss of a deeply loved leader. The highest tribute we can pay him is to celebrate his life by living the values that he taught us.
Chief Executive Officer, Barclays Africa Group
From Barclays Group Chief Executive Antony Jenkins
On behalf of all of my colleagues in Barclays, and particularly our 40,000 people in Africa, I would like to echo Maria Ramos’s tribute, and extend our sincere sympathy and condolences to Mr Mandela’s family and to the people of South Africa who are grieving today. Mr Mandela was quite simply an inspiration, a man who championed reconciliation rather than revenge, and who devoted his life to equality and making this world a better place. His legacy is impossible to measure – and that is what made him so unique among world leaders. He will be greatly missed.
Barclays Group Chief Executive