Smith & Nephew mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela “Madiba” – civil rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and much loved and revered former first president of a democratic ‘new South Africa’ from 1994 – 1999. Mr Mandela died on Thursday 5 December 2013 at the age of 95 after a struggle with recurring pneumonia.

Nelson Mandela


Speaking from Durban, South Africa, Judy Horne, Managing Director Smith & Nephew Africa region, said:

“Madiba was a man none of us wanted to let go of. He will be remembered as a visionary and a peace maker who taught us South Africans to forgive, to embrace each other’s humanity and to celebrate our differences.  In a time fraught with peril and an impending civil war, only if the humanity held within us all could be set free would our nation avoid the abyss.  To think of Nelson Mandela as one man undervalues his enduring legacy.  It’s not only that he could represent the aspirations of the disenfranchised, it’s that he could connect all of us to a greater understanding of our own humanity in a time when hatred and fear had become crystalized within the very nature of our institutions, culture and way of life.”

“Madiba led us back to our best selves.  He showed rich and poor, black, brown and white South Africans the common thread that binds us to one another. He exemplified the values we as a company hold dear: making a difference every day, acting with transparency and integrity.  It is due to his remarkable example that South Africa achieved a peaceful democracy after centuries of conflict and racial division.”


In his Rivonia trial speech in 1964 Mr Mandela said:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”


On behalf of the entire Smith & Nephew global community, we extend our deepest sympathies to Madiba’s wife, Graca Machel and his family. 

Nelson Mandela

Hamba Kahle Madiba -