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Nelson Mandela Was the "Greatest Person of the 20th Century", Says Rousseff

12/06/2013 - 08h42

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FROM SÃO PAULO

President Dilma Rousseff said Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday (5) in South Africa, was the "greatest person of the 20th century."

In a statement, she lamented the death of the South African president and said that "the Brazilian government and people are saddened to receive the news" of his death.

"Our government and people reverence to Nelson Mandela's memory and send to his family, to President Zuma and all South Africans our deepest sympathy," Rousseff said.

President Rousseff should travel to South Africa to attend Nelson Mandela funeral, government aides said.

Former President Lula, who read the South African leader biography while in the hospital when treating his larynx cancer, recommended people to watch the movie "Invictus" (2009) to get to know the Mandela's legacy.

"Those who read the story of Mandela will certainly appreciate the fact that God has placed in the world a man of this magnitude, especially a black man. If paradise exists, Mandela deserves to be in it," he said.

The president of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF), Joaquim Barbosa, also issued a statement giving his condolences on news of Mandela's death.

For him, the death of the South African leader "makes the world weaker as it lacks people to be considered reference for courage, dignity and stubbornness in defense of just causes. His proud life translated the greater meaning of human existence. His name will remain as a synonym of hope for all victims of injustice anywhere in the world."

SEE THE FULL OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDECY OF BRAZIL

"The Brazilian government and people are saddened to receive the news of Nelson Mandela death. The greatest person of the 20th century, Mandela led with passion and intelligence one of the most important human being emancipation efforts in modern history - the end of apartheid in South Africa."

"His fight has become a paradigm, not only for Africa, but for all struggling for justice, freedom and equality. Our government and people reverence to Nelson Mandela's memory and send to his family, to President Zuma and all South Africans our deepest sympathy. The example of this great leader will guide all who fight for social justice and peace in the world."

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

Read the article in the original language

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