Mandela ‘will always be with us’ – family

2013-12-07 18:25

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Nelson Mandela’s family has compared his absence since his death to the time he was imprisoned.

“Tata is gone. The pillar of the family is gone, just as he was away during that 27 years of imprisonment. But in our hearts and souls he will always be with us,” family spokesman Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima told journalists at a briefing late this afternoon at the SABC studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

“As a family, we commit ourselves to uphold and be guided by the values he lived for and was prepared to die for,” he said.

Matanzima was flanked by Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba, who looked relaxed but serious, and who only stood up to pay tribute to boxing legend Baby Jake Matlala, who died today.

Matanzima thanked South Africans and the international community for their messages of condolence, and paid special thanks to President Jacob Zuma, his government, religious communities and Mandela’s doctors for their support.

“Yes, it has not been easy for the last two days, and it won’t be pleasant for the days to come. But with the support we are receiving from here and beyond, and in due time, all will be well for the family,” he said.

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