To the Mandela family, ANC, and nation during this time of sorrow and grief

To the Mandela family, ANC, and nation during this time of sorrow and grief

A colossal tree has fallen. A tree that broke the disruptive ‘winds of change’ which threatened to destabilise the nation. A tree that anchored the land when it seemed unlikely that the centre would hold. A tree that parented and protected the scion of flowers sprouting at its feet, until we could stand on our own. We mourn the passing of our father, a dedicated revolutionary and selfless leader, our collective conscience, a hero and true son of the soil who spent his life in the service of his people (fighting for liberation and equality, and as a great statesman). We as South Africans and Africans are made of the same stuff and will forever endeavour to personify Madiba’s legacy.

Madiba, born of royalty, was committed to the cause of the downtrodden and marginalised, and proved himself a man of the people. This is evidenced primarily as a revolutionary, who tirelessly fought to ensure that all South Africans could live in a free country, in an environment that fostered and nurtured the fledgling human rights culture that was a pillar of the Freedom Charter. As he stated from the dock, he fought against all forms of discrimination and was willing to lay down his life for this cause. With revolutionary zeal and a steadfast commitment to his people, he has selflessly sought to build a new legacy of unity, prosperity and non-racialism.

A staunch pan African, he did not forget the pivotal role played by other African states in the liberation of our country, and actively contributed to the development of the African continent and its people. He fought on global stages to ensure that Africa took its rightful place at the table of nations, thereby ensuring increased peace and stability on the Continent, and indeed the world.

Labelling him as a statesman speaks to a small part of this multi-faceted and complex individual, who committed himself to the service of all humanity, yet remained true to his roots as most clearly reflected in his love for children.

To his family, your loss is also humanity’s loss. To the people of Qunu and Mvezo, you nurtured a colossus, and your son is now humanity’s yardstick for heroism, patriotism, social justice and forgiveness. Lala qhawe, ntsizwa yo mkhonto. To the clan of Yem-Yem of Madiba aha Dalibunga.

Akekho ofana naye. Hamba kahle Dlomo, Madiba, Yem-Yem, Vela bambhentsele, Sophitsho, Ngqolomsila, Tubhana, Qhumpase, Tande, Mthembu, Ncikoza, Mtshikilana, Malangana.

Lala ngoxolo, Tata.

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