‘Let tata enjoy his sunset years’

2009-10-07 14:13

ONE of former president Nelson Mandela’s daughters has appealed to

the nation to give her father space to enjoy his “sunset years”.

Zindzi Mandela accepted the Constitutional Hill Trust award on her

father’s behalf last night.

Mandela was honoured with fellow Robben Island inmate Ahmed

Kathrada for their “sterling work in pursuit of democracy, human rights and

constitutionalism”.

“Tata is a beautiful, sweet, cute old man so if he wishes to take

walks in the garden, sleep until 12 o’clock let him be,” she said.

Zinzi said this was the greatest gift South Africa could give to

her father.

The ceremony, in its second year, was attended by Constitutional

Hill Trust chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, trustees Cheryl Carolus and retired

chief justice Arthur Chaskalson among other guests.

Ramaphosa described Mandela as “gigantic”.

“SA is overwhelmingly blessed to have had these outstanding

leaders. In many ways we’re walking with history,” he said of the two

recipients.

A modest Kathrada, accompanied by his wife Public Enterprises

Minister Barbara Hogan, paid tribute to their legal representatives during the

infamous treason trial.

“Our lawyers haven’t been given the recognition they deserve,” said

the 80-year-old, adding that Robben Island inmates were safe compared to

activists and leaders who were outside and ran the risk of police torture.

“No policeman could come to Robben Island and shoot at us,” he

said.


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