Statement by Nelson Mandela on death of Steve Tshwete

27 April 2002 It was with great sadness and a sense of personal loss that we learnt of the death of Minister Steve Tshwete.

Steve Tshwete served his country and people with great distinction and total dedication. The country is immensely poorer because of his early and untimely death.

We spent time together on Robben Island where Steve was a sterling example of how prisoners made of their incarceration a positive experience and a building stone for the future. His organisational skills, also in the field of sports, were then already evident. His courage and commitment will be fondly remembered by all of us who shared those years with him.

Steve Tshwete was a brave freedom fighter and an unstinting warrior for peace and reconciliation in the country he loved so much. His total commitment to non-racialism was legendary and known to all. Sporting unity in our country owes more to Steve Tshwete than to any other individual and we know that many millions of sport loving South Africans mourn his death today.

He served with his usual distinction as Minister of Sport in the Government of National Unity.

We express our condolences to his wife Pam, the children and family. We mourn with them and share in their sense of loss.

Hamba kahle, Steve. We shall miss you greatly

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation