Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nelson Mandela: “One of the great men of our time” – UNISON Scotland tribute

UNISON Scotland today paid tribute to Nelson Mandela who has died aged 95.

Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said: “Nelson Mandela rightly received many honours and awards in the course of a long life which exemplified courage and struggle against the odds.

“One was from UNISON’s predecessor NALGO, who in 1984 gave him Honorary Life Membership of the union.

“While we were giving Nelson Mandela life membership, the Tory Government of the time were opposing sanctions against South Africa and refusing to talk to the ANC.

“Their backbenchers described the ANC as terrorists and demanded that their offices in London be closed. Our view was different and our members showed their commitment to ending apartheid with their time, money and political support over decades.

“So whilst we are sad today at the passing of one of the great men of our time, we celebrate his life of achievement and we take pride in the fact that this union has never wavered in our support for freedom and justice in South Africa.

“This is a commitment that continues today through our links with Action for Southern Africa and Community Heart.”

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