On Friday 6th December 2013, while in Cairo to officiate at the worship functions for the Feat of St Nicholas, and being informed of the passing of the emblematic African leader, Nelson Mandela, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa expressed his deep sadness at the loss of the person and the politician who shone through his wisdom, as well as through the witness of his struggle for equality, freedom and human dignity.

Having met with him in the framework of mutual undertaking of action to deal with HIV/AIDS on the one hand, and on the other for the protection of poor and orphaned children, he has distinct memories of the man who, despite the traumatic experiences of the past, supported reconciliation and assisted in South Africa’s transition from its apartheid past to a peaceful future.

Wherever he traveled during his many years of ministry in Africa, His Beatitude became the communicant of love and respect of all Africans for the man who dedicated his life to the unyielding assertion and realization of the ideal of a democratic and free society. A society in which everyone can live together in harmony and equal rights.

May his memory be eternal !