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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Walter Sisulu: Your thoughts
Walter Sisulu
Anti-apartheid fighter Walter Sisulu, a veteran of the struggle against white rule in South Africa and long-time friend of Nelson Mandela, has died aged 90.

Born in 1912, the same year that the African National Congress (ANC) was founded, Mr Sisulu rose to become the deputy president of the organisation.

"His absence has carved a void. A part of me is gone," Mr Mandela was quoted as saying.

How do you think he will be remembered and what will his legacy be?


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Thank you for your tributes to Walter Sisulu. Read a selection of your comments below.

He sacrificed his life for us. He made our lives better. He gave us hope and freedom & he gave us "Amandla" (power) as well. We'll miss u Tata. Phumla ngoxolo (Rest In Peace).
Nhuza Dubula, South African in UK

African leaders, especially the Eyademas and Mugabes among them, have a lot to learn from Walter Sisulu. You don't have to be a president before you positively affect the lives of people. Sisulu has with his simple self-effacing life demonstrated this. Rest in peace.
Olayinka Oyegbile, Nigeria

I lived in South Africa from 1982 to 2000 and I'm proud to have shared my years on this earth with the likes of Walter Sisulu. The personal sacrifice that he and many more black South Africans chose to make in the name of freedom had no limits, and for that their names will go down in history. Cheers Walter, you were a great man.
Penny, England

Africa and the world at large has lost a key pillar in the struggle for the truth
Peter Olak, UK
Walter Sisulu must and will be remembered as the architect of the freedom currently being enjoyed by millions of South Africans. For, he is the man who nurtured Mr Mandela and against all odds encouraged him to continue in politics - results of which are vividly clear for everyone to see. Africa and the world at large has lost a key pillar in the struggle for the truth. May his soul rest in peace eternal, Amen.
Peter Olak, UK

The great Walter Sisulu will always be remembered for his tireless effort in ensuring that South Africa and indeed Africa as whole liberated from occupation and rule. Above all he is the true son of the African soil who fought for the equality of human beings irrespective of their origins, colour or race. Comrade Sisulu, your courage and determination will always continue to inspire us the young generation of today to work together and the betterment of Africa as well as ensuring your ideals are highly upheld. Its very bad that you have died at the time when Africa is fighting for economic emancipation, but anyway its good that your passing away came at the time when most of yours ideals have been achieved, especially that of eliminating apartheid and oppression and GO WELL
Jefta Tjihumino, Namibia

O Great son of Africa, O great son who fought for the death of Apartheid, peace be on to your ashes. We are missing you right now, but History will fill the vacuum between you and us. If only we could have four of Walter Sisulu, four of Nelson Mandela and two of Jerry John Rawlings in Africa, we would have had the best African Soccer political team. We love you and best be with you, until we all the great sons of Africa meet again.
Levon K. Thomas, Liberia

He has gone to join our ancestors. But our ancestors are always with us. Our teacher. Our inspiration.
Sahr Fasuluku LLB, Sierra Leone in UK

Sisulu proved that you do not need a great education to be great leader
Wairimu Kuria, Kenya in USA
Very few people in Africa and the world today truly understand what sacrifice for a greater good is. Walter Sisulu did when the only reward was imprisonment and possibility of death. Mr Sisulu proved that you do not need a great education to be great leader, all you needed was wisdom and the heart of a warrior. The great forefathers of African struggle Shaka Zulu, Nkuruma, Kenyatta and others will surely be waiting for you.
Wairimu Kuria, Kenya in USA

I grew up reading about this man and his speeches and some of his ideology I could recite from heart even today. Let's pray to God almighty to send us more like him and help us be more like him. Go in peace Sisulu and I know God must be glad to welcome you in His kingdom, for I know you are with Him today and forever, Amen.
M Kiiru Ephantus, Kenya/US

All those who campaigned for his and Mandela's freedom and against apartheid, knew he was a great leader and person. His passing at a time when there is a lack of good leadership worldwide, makes it all the more poignant. We salute you Walter for your courage, strength, humility and leadership. You were and are a symbol of freedom for us all Amandla!
Emma, UK

Walter Sisulu and the other detainees are among the most courageous and remarkable people of our time
Mark Alleyne, USA
I named my son after Nelson Mandela (in gratitude) and we have a poster from the apartheid struggle prominently displayed at home. Walter Sisulu and the other detainees are among the most courageous and remarkable people of our time. My life would have been very worse without them!
Mark Alleyne, USA

I am very proud being African because of African people like Mr. Sisulu. It is a huge loss but we were also blessed with his presence while he was with us.
Shewanesh Tewolde, Canada

He was a great source of inspiration for South Africa in particular and Africa as a whole. He will also be missed for his selflessness and courage in uprooting the evil apartheid system.
Samuel, USA

A personification of some of the rarest and finest qualities in man - vision, courage, tenacity, humility, selflessness and magnanimity. A quintessential leader and true hero, not just of South Africa, but of the whole of Africa. A beacon to all those who still dream of and fight for justice, fairness and accountability in government. He (and his colleagues) have shown that there is no tyrant too powerful that will not fall in the face of committed men and women who fight on the side of truth and justice. We celebrate your life, great hero, as in honour, you take your final bow. The echo of your deeds will resound for all times!
Engobo Emeseh, UK

I saw him when I was in South Africa and knew of him all my life growing up in Kenya. He should have been the next president after Nelson. He wouldn't have denied the aids problem like Mr Mbeki. We respect and will miss him for his integrity, honesty, decency and consistency.
Amoroso Gombe, Kenya

I am what am today due to his efforts
Khibidu Ratshoeunyane, USA
I am South African, who studies in the USA. I would like to send my condolences to the bereaved Sisulu's family. "Let his spirit rest in peace." The late Walter has done his path and contributed with his life to make South Africa a better place in the whole world. He will be remembered by his efforts on uplifting the lives of the South African youth and I was lucky enough to meet him in person when our choir East Rand Male Symphony performed in Attrachville on remembrance of the South African veterans who died during world war two. Robala ka kgotso ntate wa rona, I am what am today due to his efforts. May God bless the Sisulu's family
Khibidu Ratshoeunyane, United State of America

After hearing his voice, my father was left with no option but to name my brother Walter after this African Hero. Thanks Walter Sisulu, you have fought a good fight.
LC Muzembi, UK

A history maker has passed on. He put his principles first and with true courage fought the ignorance & arrogance of white South Africa. Walter Sisulu was part of a distinguished team that brought equality to all in South Africa. RIP.
EC, USA

He never allowed his anger with the apartheid regime to become part of his policies
Ivan Menjivar, El Salvador
Comrade Walter Sisulu taught us with his life that we cannot become our enemies. Dedicated to the path of reconciliation, he never allowed his anger with the apartheid regime to become part of his policies. The South African people, Africa and humanity have lost a great man. He has joined the pantheon of heroes who struggled in Africa, Asia and Latin America against the scourges of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. Honour and glory to Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu!!!!!!!!
Ivan Menjivar, El Salvador

Thank you, Mr. Sisulu, for putting an end to the ugly apartheid system, that was a shame on mankind, thank you for sacrificing so much in the process, and above all, thank you for staying so moderate and humble, after the struggle had been won.
Patricia Bongaerts, Belgium

Some people called Africa a dark continent, Water Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Desmond Tutu have changed all that! God bless you Sisulu, and God bless Africa.
Atufigwege Mwakyoma, Vienna-Austria

The lion has slept, but the Pride lives on. May Africa long echo with the sounds of the freedom you so valiantly fought, and paid, for. Amandla!
Peter Wanyonyi, Nairobi, Kenya

I salute a true man of courage and honour
Chris Surtees, UK/Swaziland

Africa has lost one of its greatest sons. I salute a true man of courage and honour. May you rest in peace.
Chris Surtees, UK/Swaziland

I met Walter and Albertina Sisulu in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada in September 1991 when they made a Canadian goodwill tour to promote human rights and higher education in South Africa. As one of the organizers of the tour, representing the Atlantic Human Rights Center at St. Thomas University in Fredericton and a long time anti-apartheid activist, I was thrilled to meet Mr. and Mrs. Sisulu and will always cherish those three days as one of the highlights of my life.
Melynda Jarratt, Canada

Very humble, simple with an impeccable character underpinned by unprecedented wisdom. This is what Tata Sisulu was to many of us who were privileged to have received political mentorship from him. I will forever remain grateful to have listened to his teachings and insights. Sisulu lives!
Mandla ka-Mabuza, South Africa

A big part of living African history is gone
Zeca Veiga, Cape Verde
A big part of living African history is gone. He inspired his fellow Africans and forever will be missed. Rest in peace.
Zeca Veiga, Cape Verde

May the whole world follow the great examples of Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. My sympathy goes to the families of Mr Sisulu.
Garyah Reed, Liberia

A voice that will be missed, but one that will be heard forever.
Jeff, South Africa/USA

There can be no more exemplary way to serve humanity than Dr Sisulu. May your soul rest in perfect peace.
Rolanopolis Joe, USA

Brother Sisulu is a great African leader and a noble human being. He has lived life to the full, although hard, in the process of African liberation, it is now time to rest, and us Africans have to follow his footsteps.
Bekuretsion Fesshaye, Canada

Africa has lost another of the Greatest Sons of the soil
Levai Babaya, United States
To the Sisulu Family,
Africa has lost another of the Greatest Sons of the soil, those who gave their all so we the next generation may know what it means to be free and live in freedom. As we ponder this loss, we pray that his soul rest in Christ our Lord. You should know that this loss is not yours alone, we are indebted to him and a continent will always be indebted to his courage, wisdom and patriotism. To him, I say, "Go with God's peace you noble warrior. You fought a fair and courageous fight and you won!" God's speed Mr. Sisulu.
Levai Babaya, United States

There comes a time in every man's life to go home. Walter's time has come but he has left us with so much. He was a part of the living legend but now he is his own legend and he lives as long as freedom lives in South Africa and Africa. you've played your part, Walter, we'll meet again.
Dela, London

Mourning is not enough to the great leader's death. He was the leader of all freedom lovers. Thanks to God he saw with his eye the freedom of his people. I hope the new generation will keep his struggle for equality of all human being and die hard for his goal.
Eyob, USA

Bravo Hero Walter Sisulu. It is men like you, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu that have given Africa a good name in the midst of the mess that the continent is today thanks to selfish leaders. You stood by your principals through harsh times and that is what has made the integrated South Africa today what it is. With more like you, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu, Africa will be headed places. Go well hero, sleep well hero.
Wanja Njuguna, United States

He was magnanimous in victory
Kamyar, Iran
He was brave and steadfast in his struggle to free South Africa. He was more importantly magnanimous in victory. The likes of him will always live throughout history. May he rest in peace.
Kamyar, Iran

South Africa truly deserved a leader like Walter Sisulu. His legacies will live on, as proof of what one can do when one is truly determined. May he rest in peace.
Caroline, Norway

Walter Sisulu's death has left me thinking about how I can make a difference to my generation. If there's anything I've learnt from his life it is to be the best that I can be in my chosen carrier of journalism; in the hope that I can also make a difference in my generation. I once asked a colleague how I can make a difference in my country and guess what he said "do the best you can and posterity will remember you for that"! Well that's exactly what i plan to do - what about you?
Tilly Sante, Ghana

I respect this man, Sisulu who has shown his true integrity to stand 25 years of imprisonment for championing the cause of his people. May his dream of an apartheid-free South Africa live for ever...
Raghu Gollapalli, India / Germany

His spirit radiates throughout all the corners of the world
Somadoda Fikeni, South Africa
Sisulu is one of a kind who personified principle, selflessness, courage, humility and strong values. But what we often forget as we reflect on his struggle credentials is that he is a loving family man. He and his wife, Albertina, surely had a bond and chemistry that can only be seen as love relationship of a century. A towering giant of all humanity has gone to join the immortal but his spirit radiates throughout all the corners of the world.
Somadoda Fikeni, South Africa

Anyone who puts themselves in danger for the greater good of equality for everyone is in my eyes, a hero. Walter Sisulu IS a hero. May he rest in peace.
Xian, USA

Old man Sisulu will be remembered as a great son of Africa who stood against injustice and racism not only for South Africa but for the whole of Africa. May his soul rest in peace.
Medkay, Sweden

Some write history. Some read history. Walter Sisulu made history. May his soul rest in peace.
Gizachew, Ethiopia

I salute that gentleman
Sri, Thamileelam, Sri Lanka
What a great man. He spent his life in prison - more than a half century - for his nation. I salute that gentleman.
Sri, Thamileelam, Sri Lanka

Heroic, brave, inspirational. Just a few of the words to describe what Walter Sisulu meant to the black people of the UK. The world has lost one of its greatest freedom fighters. We shall miss him.
Wayne, UK

This great fighter of black freedom goes home with the spirit of a lion. I pray this black fighter receives a better place in the history of Africa. May God bless you Sisulu. Adieu.
Aniekan-Abasi Akpan, Nigeria

His life is an inspiration to South Africa
Matthew Parks, South Africa
Comrade Walter Sisulu showed in every way how life should be lived to the fullest in the service of humanity. His life is an inspiration to South Africa, Africa and the whole world and a rallying call for all suffering peoples. He will definitely be greatly missed by South Africa and the African National Congress. Hamba Kahle Comrade!
Matthew Parks, South Africa

As long as the ANC and the new South Africa lives, Sisulu will forever live.
Gordon Mbongwe, South Africa

Great memories define great men. That of Sisulu is nothing but great and may we younger generation imbibe the spirit with which this great man along with others ensured the freedom of those yet unborn is guaranteed.
A A Abayomi, Nigeria

He fought the good fight
Lloyd Siamunyanga, Zambia
He fought the good fight. It is now up to present leadership to use the foundation as a springboard to prosperity.
Lloyd Siamunyanga, Zambia

A comrade never dies, but falls on his knee. The same thing happened to comrade Sisulu. History has been written.
Cyprian Gumede, Johannesburg, South Africa

A great man, although Mandela takes the most credit, you can't deny the immense work that Mr Sisulu did to transform the politics of not only South Africa, but through his influence the rest of the developing world.
Jonathan, UK

He is a man of substance. May his family celebrate his passing and not cry, because he has accomplished his mission and fulfilled his purpose on earth. May his soul continue to touch those who are left behind and may we find strength in his deeds.
Nanki Hoaeane, South Africa

I hope the leadership of South Africa remembers the beliefs and principles that Walter Sisulu held true and lived for
Andrew Lees, UK/South Africa
When I grew up in SA, it was a case of them and us, but the old freedom fighters: Mandela, Sisulu, Tambo and the like have made it a country for everyone to proud of and a shining example of success through perseverance for the rest of the world to see. Today, I feel a genuine sadness that a great man has passed on. I hope and pray that the leadership of South Africa remembers the beliefs and principles that outstanding human beings like Walter Sisulu held true and lived for. Nkosi sikilel' Afrika.
Andrew Lees, UK/South Africa

Africa has lost one of its gallant sons, a true revolutionary, and a man of firm beliefs. Were it not for him and others like him, black South Africans would still be under apartheid rule. Thank you sir, your cause was justified. God bless Africa and give her peace.
Moses, Oxford, UK

We will miss his humility, honesty, integrity and uprightness
Chinedu Ibeabuchi, Lagos, Nigeria
The death of Walter Sisulu is a great loss to the continent. He believed in the equality of mankind and worked towards it dogmatically and sincerely. We will miss his humility, honesty, integrity and uprightness. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Chinedu Ibeabuchi, Lagos, Nigeria

He is a role model for all the politicians, as he helped to bring democracy in SA, but he did not take anything out of it and was still living in Soweto. May Allah send his soul to heaven.
Mushtaq Ahmed Memon, Japan/Pakistan

The world has lost one of the strongest voices of peace and humanity that shone through the dark days of apartheid.
Alan, UK

A man of greatness who did not seek the limelight, but worked tirelessly for those who had no voice, no matter what the personal cost.
Jon, UK

Africa lost her son and we lost a role model that will be hard to replace.
Temesghen Araya, Eritrea

He was a man of integrity and had the conviction to pursue the liberation of the people of S Africa from apartheid. His name like those before him will be remembered for the courage and suffering he endured for liberating others.
Abdulai Bah, Guinea

I served in South Africa as a US diplomat, 1990-95, and felt close up Mr Sisulu's remarkable influence on the process of positive change. The world has lost a giant for the cause of human justice but his contributions will benefit the world forever. My prayers are with his family.
Bismarck Myrick, USA

A giant amongst giants. RIP.
Mark Cole, Wales

Walter Sisulu is truly a national hero of South Africa where he will be remembered for centuries to come. He is an inspiration to all that love their freedom.
Ogbazion Haile, California

He sacrificed 26 years of his life and never asked something in return except the welfare of his people. There are only a few people like him in the history of mankind. God bless his soul.
R. Bayat Mokhtari, Iran

A great person from whom the world needs to learn how to lead your society, even when you are under the compression of the world conquerors.
Hemraj Bhandari, Nepal

You were the voice for the voiceless
Sadek Ali, USA
You were the voice for the voiceless. May you rest in peace.
Sadek Ali, USA

As we progress through the 21st century, Walter Sisulu will remain as an inspiration to an Africa haunted by a legacy of oppression and daunted by a difficult future. He is someone all Africans can appreciate in a continent plagued by despotic and self-centred leaders. For Mandela, he was someone who stood "head and shoulders" above everyone at the ANC. I will remember him simply as "good old grandpa Sisulu". He was truly one of a kind.
Mohamed, Canada

South Africa, indeed the world, has lost the most unselfish, unwavering, principled and long-suffering leader in modern times. A great statesman, Walter Sisulu will remain an icon for those that fight and earn their freedom.
Ilizwe, Canada

He saw his dreams fulfilled. That is the most important thing.
Ajos, UK

Hopefully, he'll be remembered as the horrible anti-American socialist that he and Mandela were!
Eric, USA

Please, "Eric" does not represent American thought on Walter Sisulu. Sisulu's courage, integrity, and dignity were an inspiration for all who believe in freedom. Americans join with the rest of the world to mourn the passing of this great man.
Mark Brooks, USA

Eric of the USA, have you no shame? Do you really need to let the world know of your ignorance? Africa will not mourn but celebrate the life of Walter Sisulu. His name will continue to ring around the world along with those of Tambo, Mandela and many, many others. Africa will miss you gallant fighter.
Lilian, USA

There is time for everything. Sisulu has been and will be a monument for the whole continent. His glory continues to shine. For to Eric you can keep your American attitude to yourself, none of us needs to know how you feel
Julius Akwalu, Kenya

If Eric, USA, sees Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela as 'horrible anti-American socialists', presumably he would prefer a return to the evils of apartheid.
Peter, England





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