Cape Town – Former President Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, has paid tribute to heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
Mandela said Ali’s distinguished achievements, inspiration and legend would “forever fly through our minds like a butterfly and the lifelong cause that he championed of fighting for civil rights, justice, peace and equality will forever sting like a bee”.
Ali died in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, after battling Parkinson’s disease for decades.
He had been admitted to hospital for respiratory problems.
Mandela extended his condolences to Ali’s family and the Muslim community for the death of the icon, who had met with his grandfather a few times.
“For Madiba, who had been an avid boxer in his youth, it was a dream come true to meet his boxing hero in real life and draw inspiration from his courage, bravery and self-belief,” he said.
Congress of the People deputy president Willie Madisha said Ali was his role model and hero.
“He and Madiba inspired me in the same way that they inspired millions around the world. He was brash. He was immensely talented. He was personality personified,” he said.
Madisa said in the dark days of the struggle and uncertainty, someone larger than life was needed to motivate and inspire.
“It was Muhammad Ali who did that supremely,” he said.
Courtesy: News 24