ALTHOUGH I never had the privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela, I found it extremely moving just listening to the experiences of many people who had.

From that I feel it is possible to gauge the sheer aura of the man who cared so much about the ordinary person.

During the dark days of apartheid it was easy to believe that the only way that the evil regime would end was by descending into a bloodbath.

What a huge tribute to the qualities of Nelson Mandela that a man who had been locked up for 27 years and subjected to hard labour on Robben island worked tirelessly and led by example to steer a peaceful future for South Africa.

Not everything in South Africa is yet how Nelson Mandela would have wished but the progress that has been made since apartheid is testimony to the great man. In many ways he was the most significant individual of the 20th Century.

He will be sorely missed but certainly never forgotten.

Colin Mann Leader Plaid Cymru Group Caerphilly County Borough Council