Madiba’s spirit lives among us – Mandla Mandela

2014-04-07 16:14

Mandla Mandela has opened up about the gratitude he felt towards South Africans and the government for giving his late grandfather and former president Nelson Mandela a dignified sendoff.

Mandela, who died on December 5 2013 following a long illness, was buried at his ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape ten days later.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the mourning period for the Mandela family ended on March 22 2014, Mandla said he and his family were humbled by the support of all those who loved Madiba.

“We, as a family, thank the ANC-led government and the people of South Africa for ensuring that we were able to send him in a dignified manner to his final place of rest,” said Mandla, who is also the chief of Mvezo, Madiba’s birthplace.

Directing his message to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who was in Mthatha today to open a one-stop health facility for former mine workers at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mandla said Madiba’s spirit continued to live on.

He said the funeral would forever be remembered, particularly by the people of his home province, who lined the streets of Mthatha as his body was being transported to Qunu.

“I therefore want to say, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela may no longer be with us, but his spirit lives on among us. He has extended his baton to each and every one of us to continue the work that he initiated together with the collective that he worked with,” he said.

Mandla said Madiba told them as a family that he was merely the face of the long walk to freedom as there were those that had paid the ultimate price.

“In this month of freedom, we should remember those fallen heroes and heroines and the sacrifices they made for us today to be able to look forward to April 27. Let us celebrate our 20 years of freedom, mindful of their sacrifices,” Mandla said.

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