The General of The Salvation Army Pays Tribute to Nelson Mandela

nelson mandela

Salvation Army General André Cox pays tribute to Nelson Mandela in a letter to the family of the former South African President. He explained that his years spent in Africa had given him ‘a sense of the measure of Madiba’s life and influence’.

So many have already spoken eloquently or written lucidly,’ wrote the General. ‘I would simply wish to salute a great man – one whose character was nourished by hope, expressed through forgiveness, and testified to through reconciliation.’

He concluded: ‘I pray that you would each know the Father of compassion and God of all comfort drawing so very near to you. During this Advent season, may you each experience fully the peace of the Christ child.’

The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox spent four years as leaders of The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory. As The Salvation Army’s first Africa-born world leader it is appropriate that he should pay tribute to the man who has been called the greatest-ever African.

Commissioner William Langa (Territorial Commander, Southern Africa Territory) said in a statement: ‘Mr Mandela’s immeasurable contribution to South Africa cannot be overstated. His commitment to helping the poor and vulnerable, and his pursuit of reconciliation in our divided society was a shining example to those of us who serve the Lord Jesus Christ through The Salvation Army. Salvationists throughout the world have recognised his statesmanship and moral leadership. May his soul rest in peace in the everlasting arms of Christ.’

The General’s letter can be seen in full at

Nelson Mandela

Salvationists Sing and Pray for Nelson Mandela

Post courtesy of The Salvation Army International.

Nelson MandelaOfficers from The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory sang and prayed outside the hospital in Pretoria where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated. The group – which included territorial leaders Commissioners William and Thalitha Langa – lifted up Mr Mandela in prayer, with Chief Secretary Lieut-Colonel Robert Donaldson asking God to ‘bless the former president and his family’.

The officers sang ‘In Thee O Lord do I Put my Trust’ after laying flowers at the hospital gates. Territorial Commander Commissioner William Langa addressed the group of onlookers and media, explaining that The Salvation Army wanted to symbolically show its support to the family of Madiba (as Mr Mandela is affectionately known) and to assure them of the prayers of Salvationists. He paid tribute to Madiba’s struggle to bring freedom and peace to South Africa. The commissioner’s message for the ailing anti-apartheid leader was: ‘Lift up your head, look up to God and be encouraged.’

The Chief Secretary called out to God in prayer, saying: ‘You have the future in your hands. You have the future of this nation in your hands and you have the future of the leader of this nation in your hands … bring grace to our former president and all his family. Bless them and encourage them Lord, at this difficult time.’