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Friday, December 5, 2014
Home » » Nelson Mandela remembered on first anniversary of death
Mandela's widow Graca Machel said the former statesman is happy and smiling wherever he is.
“I know that he is smiling and happy among the family he chose to build. The family he chose to build with [Walter] Sisulu, [OR] Tambo, [Lilian] Ngoyi and so on,” she said.
“On the day of his passing I was not able to think, I was numb… but looking back I can imagine him tall and proud, walking, and all of them rising to welcome him… I know Madiba is in good hands.”
She said Mandela was at peace and surrounded by family when he died.
“I stand here today as a mother of two families. He was surrounded by family when he passed… his face had tranquillity and peace.
“When he left he said ‘I leave you in peace and I want you to live in peace’.”
Machel said Mandela’s legacy could not be claimed by one institution or country.
“It is up to everyone in the world to take a stake from his legacy of goodness and forgiveness.”
She thanked South Africans for their support and “deep love”.
The Mandela family, led by Madiba’s grandson Mandla, held hands and formed a circle in front of the statue after placing the wreaths.
“Dalibunga,” said Mandla, who raised his hands towards the statue as he said Mandela’s circumcision name.
“This is a day to reflect on the momentous life of Comrade Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who served South Africa, and all humanity, in a way that no one individual has ever done or is ever likely to in the foreseeable future,” Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.
“He left it up to us and future generations to continue that struggle to see the promises of the Freedom Charter brought to life.”
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said in a statement that Mandela taught the world to never give up hope.
“This is as valid in the context of his legacy today as it was in 1963, when he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and in 1994.”
Mandela respected everyone, irrespective of class or ethnicity, Tutu said.
“Our obligation to Madiba is to continue to build the society he envisaged, to follow his example.
“A society founded on human rights, in which all can share in the rich bounty God bestowed on our country.”
Former president FW de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993 for his role in ending apartheid, said Madiba’s life represented the struggle for freedom and non-racial democracy for the majority of South Africans.
“Through his remarkable charm and magnanimity he was able to persuade his fellow leaders in the ANC and most of his former opponents and critics to join him on a peaceful march to a non-racial and democratic society,” De Klerk said in a statement.
“Although Nelson Mandela is no longer physically with us his legacy remains to guide us as we continue our journey into the third decade of our new society.”
Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said Mandela laid the foundation for a new society, free of racial divisions and full of hope for the future.
“President Mandela understood that patterns of behaviour are not accidental products of nature, but are acquired through social interaction and nurturing.”