Tower Hamlets Council flies flag at half-mast in memory of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The flags at Tower Hamlets Town Hall are flying at half-mast following the death of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela on Thursday.

Mr Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison before being released in 1990, died in his home in Johannesburg, after a long battle with lung infection, surrounded by his family, aged 95.

He became president in 1994 and was the figurehead of South Africa’s fight against the apartheid regime.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman paid tribute to Mr Mandela’s “His strength of personality” and described him as a inspiration.

Mayor Rahman said: “Nelson Mandela has been an inspiration to me, just as he has for millions across the globe.

“A great light has just gone out in the world. He has been rightly described as one of South Africa’s greatest sons, but he was also a global leader, who put freedom and justice first.

“His strength of personality helped heal the terrible wounds created by institutionalised racism, and what seems extraordinary now, a colour bar which kept black and white deliberately segregated.

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“Nelson Mandela was a giant. We shall not see his like again. The world has lost a great human being.”

A book of condolences has been opened at the Town Hall reception, in Mulberry Place, for members of the public to sign.