Nia Griffith MP joined other MPs this week to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. Speaking in the House of Commons, Nia said.
“The most extraordinary thing about Nelson Mandela was his capacity to drive forgiveness and reconciliation. If some Members have found it difficult today to listen to those who they feel condoned the apartheid regime, actively or tacitly, they should think about how much more difficult it was for him, not just to show personal forgiveness for all the suffering that he had endured, but to inspire others to come together and work together to overcome deeply entrenched attitudes of hatred, violence and the temptation to seek revenge.
The way in which Nelson Mandela went on to lead his country was amazing. He was able to come from oppression to lead constructive reconciliation. The most important way in which we can pay tribute to him is to continue to challenge injustice wherever we see it, both in our own country and across the world, particularly, as many Members have mentioned, in the Middle East. We should seek to reach out and speak to those on both sides of conflict, even if that seems an impossible task. The message of Nelson Mandela’s very, very long walk to freedom and his remarkable optimism in the face of tremendous adversity is that change is possible.”