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Prime Minister Rutte responds to death of Nelson Mandela

'There are no words for this moment; we can only look back with gratitude,' said Prime Minister Mark Rutte on hearing the news that Nelson Mandela has died.

'Nelson Mandela was unique, a man of immense charisma and moral authority,' he said. 'Even after 27 years on Robben Island, he still believed in humanity. There was a place for everyone in his new South Africa. Mandela believed in reconciliation, and his mildness and wisdom made him a binding force in his country and an inspiration to the world.'

In a letter to President Zuma, Mr Rutte expressed on behalf of the government the great respect and profound sympathy felt by the Dutch people towards the people of South Africa.