Former Robben Island prisoner, Michael Dingake said he received the death of former South African President, Nelson Mandela with sadness, but expressed hope that young people, the world over, will emulate the liberation icon.
“I expected it. But one never prepares for somebody’s death. When it comes, it is a loss. He is a bigger inspiration,” said Dingake.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma made the announcement in Pretoria on Thursday night. He said Mandela passed away at 8.50pm at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by his wife, Graça Machel and members of his family.
Dingake who was imprisoned with Mandela said he received the news with “sadness and loss” last night, but expressed hope that young people in African will be inspired by his life. “I hope young people will want to emulate him for the better of the world.”
“He was fearless. He was an inspiration to the human kind,” said Dingake.
He said Mandela will be remembered for his jokes, his warmth and his commitment to bringing change.
Mandela was hospitalised on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. Initial reports from the Presidency suggested Mandela was stable, although his condition was serious. But on June 23, the Presidency announced that Mandela's condition had deteriorated and he was critical.