South Africans awoke to the devastating news that our leader and father of the nation is no more.
I was in Cape Town, when I received the news at midnight.
I got up early on Friday and looked out of my hotel window and noticed people walking on the street going to work. While everything seemed normal, when I looked carefully, I realised that people were in a daze.
Throughout the day while the sadness was pervasive it was clear that the reality had not sunk in.
While Tata was in and out of hospital, his age and frailty should have prepared us for his death, but when the news spread around South Africa and the rest of the world, it became evident that nothing could prepare us for this loss.
A world without Tata Mandela seems inconceivable.
Now, while we mourn his death it is as important that we celebrate his life.
In celebration of his life:
I call on all employees of NHLS to ask yourself what can each one of you do, that lives the values of this great human being.
I call on all employees to make our NHLS better by making one sacrifice for the 27 years that Tata spent in prison.
I call on all of you to change one thing for the miraculous change from apartheid to a free and democratic South Africa.
I call on all of you to put the patient before self, in the same way Tata did when he put our freedom before his own and that of his family.
Nelson Mandela redefined leadership and authority.
As we start our journey on the transformation of NHLS lets collectively reflect on how
we can give expression to Tata Mandela’s values and draw wisdom from his lessons to enrich our journey. Some of the lessons that resonate with what we want to achieve on transformation
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”
For myself as CEO, the executives and heads of deprtments I hope we will reflect on Tata Mandela’s views on leadership:-
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory and when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”
As we fulfil our teaching and research mandate we will remember his noble words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
And finally for all of us who feel the task ahead challenging, I hope you will be spurred on with his prophetic words:
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Let us join with our fellow South Africans, and millions more around the globe to pay respect to this freedom fighter, peace maker, unifier, humanitarian, defender of the poor and homeless, champion of people living with HIV and Aids, the first President of a free South Africa, a moral and ethical leader who gave every citizen of our beloved country hope for the future.
To his family our heartfelt condolences.
Hamba Kahle Tata. Your legacy will live forever.
Sagie Pillay Dec 8, 2013