The world mourns “The Great Lion” Sir Ketumile Masire

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As messages of condolence poured in from across the country for The Great Lion, the legend that is Sir Ketumile Masire, the world mourns with us; for Sir Masire’s passing is not just Botswana’s loss, Africa’s loss but a loss for the world.

Below are some of the touching messages of condolence that have been pouring in via social media since Sir Masire passed.


katy-ransomeThe British High Commission – Katy Ransome

The British High Commissioner sends her deep condolences to the Government and people of Botswana on the passing of His Excellency Sir Ketumile Joni Quett Masire GCMG. He played a crucial role on the road to independence and development of Botswana and was a firm friend of the UK. Sir Masire left a wonderful legacy through both his work as President and his Foundation. May his soul rest in peace.


The US Embassy – Ambassador, Earl Miller

earl-millerOn behalf of the United States Embassy and all of our employees, Americans and Batswana, I offer our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the family of former President Quett Ketumile Joni Masire and the people of the great nation of Botswana.

President Masire was a giant of African democracy and greatly loved and respected as a man and a leader.

What I shall hold most dear from my time with President Masire was the example of the simple dignity of his life and his sense of duty. President Masire’s legacy is a standard for all leaders and for all of us.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who loved and admired him.

Robala ka kagiso mmina-phiri


koffi-annanKofi Annan – Former UN Secretary General

It is with great sadness that I learned of Botswana’s former President Ketumile Masire’s passing. He epitomised the type of informed leadership our continent so direly needs. As the principal architect of many of Botswana’s economic and political successes after independence, he showed that it is possible if leadership puts the country’s rather than one’s own interests first.

Even after retirement, President Masire played constructive roles in many diplomatic and peace-seeking initiatives across the continent. I would like to express my deepest sympathies to President Masire’s family and to all people of Botswana during this time of mourning.

May he rest in peace.


alexander-baumAmbassador Alexander Baum; Head of Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC

The Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC is deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of the former President of Botswana and one of Africa’s foremost statesmen, Sir Ketumile Masire.

The European Union is indeed honoured to have known and worked with such a great person since the EU and Botswana entered into formal relations through the Lomé Convention of 1975 and more intimately when the EU formally opened its Delegation in Gaborone, Botswana in 1981, a year into Masire’s long and illustrious reign as Botswana’s second President (1980-1998).

To the people of Botswana, the Southern African region, Africa -and the international community, may the fond memories of Sir Ketumile bring you comfort as you look back on all the good memories you were able to have with him and smile at the fact that you were able to share these before he passed away.

On my behalf, the Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and the EU please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Botswana, the Sir Ketumile Foundation and his family.


thabo-mbekiThabo Mbeki – Former South African President

It was with great sadness that we heard the news that our very dear leader and friend, Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of the Republic of Botswana, passed away on June 22.

We will always remember Sir Ketumile as an outstanding African leader and patriot who played a critical and courageous role in the struggle for the liberation of our country from the shackles of the apartheid system.

Further, Sir Ketumile belonged among that eminent cohort of African leaders who served the peoples of Botswana and the rest of Africa with great honesty, integrity and humility, always informed by an unwavering commitment to discharge their responsibilities without any expectation of personal gain.

We will greatly miss his wisdom, his guiding hand and his friendship as we continue to do our best to respond to the many challenges our country and Continent face.

We convey our heartfelt condolences to the Masire family, as well as to President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the Government and sister people of Botswana who, under the leadership of President Masire, sacrificed many lives during the years of struggle against apartheid. With the passing of Sir Ketumile Masire we have lost a humble giant whose exemplary life has made all of us proudly African!

May he rest in eternal peace!


mo-ibrahim-foundationThe Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of a brother and Board Member, Sir Ketumile Quett Joni Masire and wishes to express its deepest condolences to the Masire family, the people of Botswana and Africa as a whole.

Serving as Botswana’s second President, Sir Ketumile Masire is credited with building the country’s modern economy. Under his leadership, Botswana became synonymous with good governance and transparency. It has demonstrated that natural resources can be a blessing, not a curse.

Mo Ibrahim: “Africa today lost a great statesman and role model. We at the Foundation will greatly miss his wise counsel, guidance, and his humour”.


nelson-mandela-foundationThe Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is saddened by the passing of the former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire.

Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang sends his condolences to the people of Botswana. “We have lost another great leader in Sir Ketumile Masire, a teacher who cared deeply about youth development to the very end.”

At a state banquet for Masire on 23 April 1996 Nelson Mandela said: “Our country has much to learn from Botswana – both from your towering successes and your efforts to deal with the difficulties. All these attributes have made Botswana, and you.

Mr President, a natural and capable leader of the region’s collective efforts towards growth and development, within the framework of SADC. We also value your leadership in the region’s efforts to promote peace and stability on our sub-continent and further afield.”

In all these spheres, South Africa stands ready to work with Botswana and other neighbours to attain the best for our peoples.

In his honour, the Nelson Mandela Foundation will continue to work with the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation through the “Caring4Girls” Initiative in Botswana, and Mandela Day Libraries in an effort to deepen work he was passionate about to further youth development.

Robala ka kagiso, Mmina Phiri. Ntwa o e lole


african-unionThe African Union mourns with Botswana

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, wishes to extend sincere condolences to the Masire family, the Government and the people of the Republic of Botswana on the passing of Dr Quett Ketumile Joni Masire on 22 June 2017.

The Chairperson notes with great appreciation that the late Dr Masire played a critical role in facilitating Botswana independence, through the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and voluntarily stepped down from the Presidency in 1998.

“A true Pan-Africanist, Dr Masire made invaluable contributions in seeking peaceful solutions to challenges in African countries such as in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia, Somalia, Lesotho the DRC, to name but a few,” noted Chairperson Faki.

Furthermore, the Chairperson notes with great appreciation the efforts of the late President Masire, when he served as Chairman of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities Investigating the Circumstances Surrounding the 1994 Rwanda Genocide from 1998 to 2000.

Following the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, the late President Masire served as the facilitator for the Inter-Congolese National Dialogue, an assignment which he undertook with great responsibility and dedication.

In May 2005, he led the Commonwealth Electoral Observer Mission to the Ethiopian elections and returned in May 2010 to lead an African Union Election Observer Mission to the Ethiopia Legislative Elections. Subsequently, in October 2010, he co-led National Democratic Institute pre-election assessment mission in Nigeria.

A selfless man and true patriot, in 2007, Sir Ketumile Masire set up the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation, aimed at promoting the social and economic wellbeing of Batswana.

Sir Ketumile was also a founding Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission wishes to express his profound appreciation and gratitude to the late Masire for his contributions to the search for peace, security and development on the African continent.

May His Soul Rest in Peace and his family along with the people of Botswana be comforted in this time of sadness.

Featured Image Source: The Embassy of Botswana, Germany

3 months ago