Hero’s in­spir­ing legacy will live on, says La Grange

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

HE­ROES never die, Nel­son Man­dela’s per­sonal as­sis­tant Zelda la Grange said yes­ter­day.

“As sad as it makes me that I will never walk into a room again and see his gen­er­ous in­fec­tious smile... I have come to terms with the fact that Madiba’s legacy is not de­pen­dent on his pres­ence,” she said.

“His legacy will not only live on in ev­ery­thing that has been named af­ter him, the books, the im­ages, the movies. It will live on in how we feel when we hear his name, the re­spect and love, the unity he in­spired in us as a coun­try, but par­tic­u­larly how we re­late to one another.”

She said Man­dela in­spired peo­ple to for­give, rec­on­cile, care, be self­less, tol­er­ant, and to main­tain dig­nity no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances.

“I can at­test to each of th­ese be­cause th­ese are the ways in which he changed my life over the past 19 years,” said La Grange. “I am blessed and hon­oured by the priv­i­lege to have had the op­por­tu­nity to serve him.”

Man­dela did not de­mand loy­alty, but in­spired un­wa­ver­ing loy­alty from ev­ery­one he touched, she said. “Madiba will for­ever be present in my life be­cause he made me into the hu­man be­ing I am to­day. I will cher­ish ev­ery smile, the pleas­ant but also the dif­fi­cult times, and es­pe­cially my bare­foot mo­ments,” she said.

“Thank you for all the won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties you af­forded me, but most of all thank you for be­liev­ing in me... mak­ing me a bet­ter per­son, a bet­ter South African.” – Sapa

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