‘Tata is gone before our eyes, but never in our hearts and minds’

2013-12-10 13:42

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The greatest man to have walked the planet, Nelson Mandela, may be gone before our eyes, but he will live in each and every one of us forever.

This was the final tribute by the Mandela family delivered by General Thanduxolo Mandela, a relative.

“Tata is gone before our eyes, but never in our hearts and minds,” said General Mandela.

He said Mandela, who was the first democratic president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999, joins a league of extraordinary leaders in the afterlife including Steve Biko, OR Tambo and Walter Sisulu.

General Mandela said it was up to all people across the world – not only those in South Africa – to continue living the legacy of the late statesman, who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

“We dare not fail to uphold his legacy,” said General Mandela.

The family said the Mandela they knew embodied peace, harmony and justice and they promised to uphold these values in future.

“As we lift our eyes to the dawn of a new era we hope you will join us,” said General Mandela.

The family called for all South Africans to support every initiative that aims to keep Mandela’s values alive.

“We recommit ourselves to the values Madiba stood for and we call on you to stand by us, encourage us [and] guide us,” said General Mandela.

Nelson Mandela’s friend and comrade, ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, eulogised Mandela as the most inspirational man he had ever met.

Mlangeni said Mandela often brought hope “where there was none”.

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