Madiba ‘would be proud of de­fence force’

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

NEL­SON Man­dela would be proud of the way the SANDF con­ducted it­self dur­ing the ly­ing in state of his body in Pre­to­ria, spokesman Lieu­tenant- Gen­eral Xolani Ma­banga said yes­ter­day.

“It has been a great task, but I think mem­bers of the SANDF have worked with dis­ci­pline and dili­gence,” he said. “Wher­ever Tata is, he will say this is the force I es­tab­lished post1994. He will smile and give him­self a tap on the shoul­der.”

From the deep di­vi­sions of apartheid, un­der Man­dela’s lead­er­ship, the SANDF had found ways to rec­on­cile.

De­fence force mem­bers have been in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing the nec­es­sary deco­rum dur­ing the three days in which Man­dela’s body has lain in state.

They have led the mo­tor­cade in which his cof­fin has been trans­ported from 1 Mili- tary Hos­pi­tal to the Union Build­ings. The army band has played the an­them each time Man­dela’s cof­fin has been re­moved from the hearse.

Guards have kept watch over his cof­fin and a num­ber of mil­i­tary pa­rades have been con­ducted at the seat of gov­ern­ment. When given a chance to view the body, army per­son­nel filed past, solemnly salut­ing.

Ma­banga said that be­neath their pro­fes­sional ex­te­rior, the SANDF mem­bers were com­fort­ing one another.

“They do ex­press their feel­ings; they do en­cour­age one another. They dis­cuss or draw lessons from what­ever is be­ing said about Tata Man­dela.”

Top of­fi­cials were grate­ful for the con­duct of the gen­eral force. “They have re­mained com­mit­ted and calm in or­der to help and work with ev­ery­one to en­sure this event is a suc­cess.” – Sapa

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