madiba3MultiChoice has announced the launch of a Nelson Mandela memorial channel on DStv, paying tribute to the former South African president who died yesterday at the age of 95.

Channel 199 will host the tributes, with a full schedule of programming to be communicated shortly, while MultiChoice has also launched a tribute website.

MultiChoice executive chairman Nolo Letele expressed the broadcaster’s sadness at the passing of Mandela, who was the leader of the anti-apartheid struggle, spent 27 years in prison and was his country’s first black president.

“It is a sad day for the MultiChoice family and for our nation,” Letele said. “The loss of our beloved Tata Madiba will be felt for a very long time. Tata’s contribution to our country has been immeasurable and his teachings will always be a part of us – leading us towards a better future. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family during this sad time. Madiba – you will be sorely missed.”

South African telecommunications firms also expressed their condolences at Mandela’s death.

“The announcement of Mr Mandela’s death has had a deep and profound impact on members of his family, on his countless friends and comrades, on the citizens of South Africa, and on people across the globe. It is with a heavy heart that we offer our condolences to his immediate family and to the wider family of South Africa. May you all gather strength and courage as we mourn the loss of the Father of our Nation.” Said Chairman of the Telkom board Jabu Mabuza.

“Former President Mandela leaves behind a rich legacy of reconciliation, world peace and the triumph of the human spirit over all adversity. He embodied the spirit of human rights and dignity in the way he lived his own life.” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN group president and chief executive officer (CEO)

In a statement, Cell C said: “It is with a heavy heart that Cell C must say farewell to our beloved former president, hero and father of the nation, Nelson Mandela.

“We will all remember him for his courage, unwavering strength, his ability to look past people’s faults and his kindness and generosity.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the nation.”