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'A giant of history' - European leaders reflect on Mandela

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'A giant of history' - European leaders reflect on Mandela

Global leaders have been paying tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, following his death on December 5.

Speaking at a France-Africa summit in Paris, French President François Hollande described the scale of Mandela’s achievements and legacy:

“He had already entered into history during his life, and, in death, he takes his place in the universal consciousness. Nelson Mandela not only changed South Africa – he also sped up the pace of change in the world,” Hollande said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Mandela’s iconic status during a news conference in Berlin:

“Nelson Mandela was convinced that hatred and revenge could not make the world a better place, rather only reconciliation and peaceful change. That is what he lived by and that is why he is a giant of history,” Merkel said.

Amid the sadness of many of the global tributes to Mandela, Dalai Lama offered some words of inspiration:

“Sad, just feel[ing] sad and pray, [doesn’t have] much meaning. Now we must develop determination or enthusiasm to carry his spirit,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters in New Delhi, India.

South Africa

South Africa celebrates 'a life well lived' after the death of Nelson Mandela