Thanks for sharing Mandela: Zuma

By Drum Digital
15 December 2013

President Jacob Zuma thanked former president Nelson Mandela's family for sharing him with South Africa and the world.

President Jacob Zuma thanked former president Nelson Mandela's family on Sunday for sharing him with South Africa and the world.

"We acknowledge the suffering of your own children who had an absent father and a father who was called a dangerous man and a terrorist by the apartheid regime," Zuma said at Mandela's state funeral in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape.

"They are no doubt truly proud today to be brought to this planet by a man so great and yet so humble."

Zuma thanked Mandela's first wife Evelyn Mase, who died in 2004, for raising Mandela's children under difficult conditions.

The biggest praise went to Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The crowd at the funeral applauded when Zuma acknowledged Madikizela-Mandela as the person who had kept Mandela's name alive and provided support and strength.

"When the ANC was banned, she refused to be silent and carried on the struggle with amazing bravery," he said.

"She was persecuted severely for standing by you [Mandela] and for remaining resolute.

"We are proud of the contribution that she has made to the struggle for the liberation of the country as an activist and leader in her own name and right."

Zuma also thanked Mandela's widow Graca Machel.

"We thank your dear wife Mama Graca Machel, who has been at your side providing love.

"The last year has not been easy for her during your ill health. She made sure you were cared for and comforted in your final moments," said Zuma.

-by Sapa

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