Par­ties praise ‘great­est South African’

Ri­vals unite in trib­ute to man who fought for united land

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 - CRAIG DODDS

AS HE HAD in life, in death Nel­son Man­dela drew lead­ers across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum to­gether be­hind his vi­sion of a united na­tion.

They called on the coun­try to hon­our the great man by turn­ing his dream of free­dom from poverty and want into re­al­ity, and to cher­ish the po­lit­i­cal free­dom al­ready won.

Even feuding Cosatu lead­ers Zwelinz­ima Vavi and Sidumo Dlamini went “hand in hand” to visit Man­dela’s fam­ily.

“As we gather, wher­ever we are in the coun­try and wher­ever we are in the world, let us re­call the val­ues for which Madiba fought,” said Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in an­nounc­ing Man­dela’s death on Thurs­day.

“This is in­deed the mo­ment of our deep­est sor­row. Yet it must also be the mo­ment of our great­est de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“A de­ter­mi­na­tion to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and not to rest un­til we have re­alised his vi­sion of a truly united South Africa, a peace­ful and pros­per­ous Africa, and a bet­ter world.”

The ANC said his life “gives us the courage to push for­ward for de­vel­op­ment and progress to­wards end­ing hunger and poverty”.

“As we said of him while still alive, and we say so now, ‘We have you, Madiba, as our near­est and bright­est star to guide us on our way. We will not get lost’.”

DA leader He­len Zille said Man­dela had given the coun­try “a gift for which we, and suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions, will be for­ever grate­ful”.

“He gave us his vi­sion of a free and in­clu­sive South Africa, and the un­wa­ver­ing be­lief that such a so­ci­ety could be achieved in his life­time.

“He was, quite sim­ply, the great­est South African that ever lived. We shall never see his like again.”

She called on South Africans to join hands in mourn­ing his pass­ing and cel­e­brat­ing his life.

“Let us reaf­firm his val­ues and re­cap­ture his spirit in all we do.”

Cope leader Mo­siuoa Lekota said the coun­try should re­flect on the mean­ing of Man­dela’s life.

“Madiba, I think, would have ex­pected us to as­sume our re­spon­si­bil­ity now that he has passed on, as­sume our re­spon­si­bil­ity and shape the road ahead for­ever fo­cused on the ob­jec­tives of keep­ing our na­tion united, rec­on­ciled with it­self and striv­ing for a bet­ter life for all the peo­ple of our coun­try.

“As he said at some point, free­dom is not just get­ting rid of the shack­les of bondage, but it’s also about chang­ing and trans­form­ing other hu­man be­ings so that they too be­come ful­filled.”

IFP pres­i­dent Man­go­suthu Buthelezi said he would share his mem­o­ries of Man­dela “once the ini­tial shock sub­sides”.

“So many knew and loved him, and so many loved him hav­ing never even met. There will surely be many tears shed in the com­ing days in all cor­ners of our coun­try, and across the world,” he said.

Agang SA leader Mam­phela Ram­phele said Man­dela had “sym­bol­ised the ex­em­plary val­ues that all good peo­ple the world over hold dear – in­tegrity, com­mit­ment to equal­ity and the well-be­ing of all peo­ple ir­re­spec­tive of race, faith, ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion or po­si­tion”.

“My per­sonal sad­ness at los­ing a fa­ther fig­ure and a friend is am­pli­fied by the out­pour­ing of grief from peo­ple around the world,” said Ram­phele.

Free­dom Front Plus leader Pi­eter Mul­der said the states­man had shown that “one per­son, at the right place, at the right time and with the right ap­proach, can make a huge dif­fer­ence”.

For­mer PAC leader Bishop Stan­ley Mo­goba said he had fond mem­o­ries of Man­dela as a fel­low pris­oner on Robben Is­land, a fel­low par­lia­men­tar­ian and, “above all”, as a fel­low Methodist and fel­low re­cip­i­ent of the World Methodist Peace Award.

“In 1994 Madiba at­tended the Methodist Con­fer­ence in Mthatha. At the time, I was the pre­sid­ing bishop of the Methodist Church.

“What has stayed with me till to­day is that in that room there were two pris­on­ers: one the head of the Methodist Church, and the other the head of the state and fa­ther of our na­tion.”

Cosatu said Man­dela’s ex­am­ple “shines more brightly than ever, and will con­tinue to in­spire and guide us for as long as we shall live.

“The best way to hon­our his mem­ory is to take for­ward the strug­gle he led, and obey the call he made dur­ing the ANC’s 50th na­tional con­fer­ence: ‘Here are the reins of the move­ment – pro­tect and guide its pre­cious legacy; de­fend its unity and in­tegrity as com­mit­ted dis­ci­ples of change; pur­sue its pop­u­lar ob­jec­tives like true rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies who seek only to serve the na­tion’.”

Sus­pended Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Vavi tweeted that he had been part of a tri­par­tite al­liance brief­ing on the mourn­ing pe­riod, and had then gone “hand in hand” with Dlamini to the Man­dela fam­ily home.

Par­lia­ment’s lead­er­ship, Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Max Sisulu, chair­man of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces Mn­inwa Mahlangu and their deputies, said a pall hung over the leg­is­la­ture and “real pain chills all who work in its precinct”.

“As the coun­try’s leg­is­la­ture, we must com­mit our­selves – the ma­jor­ity party to­gether with other par­ties rep­re­sented here – to do­ing more to­gether to bring about an eq­ui­table so­ci­ety where free­dom is truly felt in all as­pects of life by all our peo­ple,” they said.

The SA Com­mu­nist Party said his death marked “an end to the life of one of the great­est rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies of the 20th cen­tury”.

“In Com­rade Man­dela we had a brave and courageous sol­dier, pa­triot and in­ter­na­tion­al­ist who, to bor­row from Che Gue­vara, was a true rev­o­lu­tion­ary guided by great feel­ings of love for his peo­ple, an out­stand­ing fea­ture of all gen­uine peo­ple’s rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies.”

MEM­O­RIES: Stan­ley Mo­goba re­calls prison with Madiba

TEAR­FUL TIME: Man­go­suthu Buthelezi laments a great loss

GRIEF: Mam­phela Ram­phele on pass­ing of ‘a fa­ther fig­ure’

GRATE­FUL: He­len Zille: ‘We shall never see his like again’

LEGACY: Mo­siuoa Lekota re­flects on Madiba’s legacy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.