Mandela family thanks thousands for paying their last respects

2013-12-12 11:37

Nelson Mandela’s family is “humbled” by the thousands of people who are making their way to the Union Buildings to pay their last respects to the beloved statesman.

In a statement issued by family spokesperson General Themba Matanzima this morning, the Mandela family spoke of how appropriate it was that Mandela’s body should lie in state at the Union Buildings.

“It is indeed at this very seat of government that our father took the oath of office in the presence of thousands of our people and international dignitaries in 1994 to usher in the dawn of peace, freedom and democracy in South Africa.

“It is accordingly a fitting tribute that the nation returns him to the seat of government on his way to his final journey to his resting place at Qunu.

“As he lies in peace at the Union Buildings, Madiba would be happy to know he is surrounded by thousands of South Africans, whom he loved and served – or served with – in the prosecution of the just struggle for democracy and in laying the foundations in 1994 for a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic South Africa.”

They also thanked those who had attended the memorial service at FNB Stadium on Tuesday and the people who had shared “prayers, reflections, thoughts, cards and flowers, tweets and messages recorded in books of condolence”.

“We are grateful today, as we were yesterday, for the messages of support that were whispered to us in private, as well as for the stirring tributes that were orated publicly.

“Our mothers, Mama Graça Machel and Mama Winnie Mandela, are strengthened by the knowledge that as they begin to prepare to accompany Madiba on his long walk to Qunu, South Africa, Africa and the world are at their side.”

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