Message by Nelson Mandela on passing away of Mary Mxadana

10 October 2002

It was with great sadness and a deep sense of personal loss that we received news this afternoon of the passing away of Mary Mxadana.

We visited Mary in hospital on Friday morning immediately after our return from Indonesia. She was then already in a coma and obviously in a critical condition, yet we retained hope for her recovery from the complications that set in after an operation. Her death comes as a great shock and we mourn with her husband George, their sons Ntsikelelo and Thamsanqa, and the rest of the family.

Mary was our private secretary when we assumed office as President and she served in that position with distinction. She was a close and trusted colleague and she was universally liked for her personal charm and her relations with the public served by our office.

The Office of the President was a small and closely-knit department where colleagues knew each other personally. Mary was a cherished colleague, much loved for her joyful disposition and her caring nature.

I know that I speak on behalf of the former Director-General of the President's Office and all his colleagues in expressing our deep sadness at her death. She will be missed by all who knew her and had the privilege to work with her.

It is in moments like these that one stands uncomprehending before the tragedies of life. A young and vibrant woman, wife and mother was taken away from us in the prime of her life while she still had so much to give.

We trust that George and the boys will find some solace in the knowledge that so many of us share in their sense of loss and bereavement. They are constantly in our thoughts.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation