16th August 2014.
It has been difficult for me to accept the
news of Dr Ambrosini's passing.
While we knew it could happen at any stage,
given his diagnosis of terminal Lung Cancer in April last year,
we had seen him fight back with courage and, in many respects,
He was a fighter. Not only in this battle, but
in the many he engaged over the course of some three and a half
decades in politics. He believed in challenging conventional
thought, dogma and imposed limitations. It was what he dedicated
his life to doing.
I first met Dr Ambrosini in 1991 at a UN
Security Council meeting when I was introduced to him through my
friend Professor Blaustein. Dr Ambrosini was part of the
Philadelphia Constitution Foundation and Human Rights Advocates
International, a group of international constitutional
consultants who, for several years, had been looking for
institutional and constitutional solutions to South Africa's
My first impression of Dr Ambrosini was of a
remarkably bright, talented and tenacious young man, deeply
knowledgeable on constitutional law and determined to shape
history. Somehow, despite being from two entirely disparate
cultures, we felt a profound connection, and developed a close
friendship almost immediately.
That friendship lasted over twenty three
years, during which time we became colleagues, brothers-in-arms
and fellow servants of the people. I know beyond the shadow of a
doubt that I could not have done all that destiny called on me
to do, without Dr Ambrosini at my side.
There will be place in the coming days for a
proper tribute to Dr Ambrosini's remarkable life. There is
almost too much to mention even in a thousand eulogies. But it
would be remiss if I were not to thank Dr Ambrosini now, even as
we come to terms with his sudden absence, for the enormous gift
he gave to us all with his fighting spirit.
He was brave to the end. Indeed, I never met a
On behalf of my Party, the IFP, I express our
deepest admiration and thanks. I also extend condolences to Dr
Ambrosini's family, to his wife and to his son, whom he loved
without measure, to his mother, sisters and brother. We
appreciate all that they, and many close friends, did for Dr
Ambrosini throughout his most difficult battle.
May our beloved Dr Ambrosini now rest in