Mandela family pain felt by all: AmaXhosa King

By Drum Digital
13 December 2013

The family of former president Nelson Mandela should remember that his death was not just felt by them, but worldwide.

The family of former president Nelson Mandela should remember that his death was not just felt by them, but worldwide, amaXhosa prince Xhanti Sigcawu said on Friday.

"They must understand that the loss they are suffering today from losing Tata Mandela is not [only] their loss," he said at a press conference at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu.

"It is the loss to us as the Xhosas, the loss to the South Africans, it is the loss to Africans, and it is the loss to the entire world."

Sigcawu was briefing the media at the museum on behalf of amaXhosa king Zwelonke Sigcawu, after a delegation paid respects to the Mandela family at the homestead a few kilometres away.

He said the delegation met Mandela's daughters and his grandchildren, but would not specify exactly which family members were present.

Speaking on behalf of the amaXhosa king, Sigcawu said it was the first time the king had time to visit the family and met with the family to pass on their respects.

"[He told the family] he appreciates the life that he spent with the late state president Tata Mandela," Sigcawu said.

"Tata Mandela would visit the palace every now and again. What we will remember about president Mandela is that he was always motivating the youth to go to school."

He said that while Mandela was president, 10 schools were built and opened in the area.

He said the amaXhosa and the amaThembu people were separated by rivers.

Sigcawu said the amaXhosa tribe went to Qunu on Friday also to say: "May God give us another Mandela."

It will be hard to get another Mandela, he added.

South Africans should remember the lessons Mandela taught them and should remember they were "one" and the "rainbow nation".

"Even though we have now lost Tata Mandela, no one must think of leaving South Africa because the old man who has always been preaching peace and unity amongst South Africans is gone.

"No one is going to change that… South Africa is for us -- for all those who live in it," said Sigcawu.

The king wanted to thank God for giving Mandela so many years but said that everyone knew that we are born and we die.

Mandela should have a funeral in the abaThembu culture, he said.

"We want to see him buried in the Thembu cultural manner. We won't want anyone to interfere with how Thembus practice their customs and their tradition," he said.

He told the media and South Africans to respect Sunday, when Mandela would be buried in Qunu.

Mandela died last Thursday in his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

-by Sapa

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