National Parks Board chief executive officer Tan Wee Kiat (left) placing a plaque to mark the Vandaenopsis Nelson Mandela orchid, a hybrid named after Mr Mandela (right), while Board chairman Tan Keong Choon (centre) applauds. The event took place during Mr Mandela’s visit to Singapore in 1997. PHOTO: ST FILE PHOTO/ WONG POK SEE
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died peacefully from a prolonged lung infection at the age of 95. He had been receiving intensive care in his family home in Johannesburg, after a widely-reported three month hospital stay.
According to Reuters, the news was announced in a nationally televised address by Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa, who said that Mandela will be receiving a full state funeral.
Eulogies have been pouring in from world leaders, celebrities and admirers as the world mourns the passing of a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement.
On Mandela’s passing, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took to Twitter and Facebook to write the following: “Rest in peace #Mandela. You inspired inspired millions with your humanity, courage, and lifelong fight for freedom.”
Mandela last visited Singapore in March 1997, for a two-day state visit. On that occasion, a hybrid orchid Paravanda “Nelson Mandela” was named after the anti-apartheid icon, as covered by the Straits Times.
Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and South Africa President Nelson Mandela. It has been more than 16 years since Mr Mandela set foot in Singapore in 1997 and left his mark with a hybrid orchid that bears his name. PHOTO: ST FILE PHOTO/ MITA
The revered former president of South Africa had kept a low profile after his last major public appearance at the closing ceremony of the Fifa World Cup 2010.
In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Former State President of South Africa Frederik Willem de Klerk, for their work in ending the apartheid regime peacefully and paving the way for democracy in South Africa.
Mandela’s famed presidential inauguration speech in 1994 continues to echo through time: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
“I cannot imagine my own life without Mandela’s example”, said US President Barack Obama in a televised tribute from the White House, as reported by the Scottish Daily Record. “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.”