Mandela's passing signals passing of an era

2013-12-06 01:31
 (Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

(Nardus Engelbrecht, Sapa)

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Johanesburg - The death of former president Nelson Mandela signals the end of a historic era, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Thursday.

"His passing signals the end of an historic era represented by the heroic deeds of his generation," Mbeki said in a statement.

He had succeeded Mandela as president in 1999 and was in office until 2008.

Mandela died at his Houghton residence on Thursday.

"He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on 5 December, President Jacob Zuma said on a national broadcast shortly before midnight.

"He is now resting, he is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son," said Zuma.

Mbeki and his wife Zanele sent their condolences to the Mandela family.

"We convey our heartfelt condolences to his dear wife, Graca Machel, and... his entire family."

"His departure represents a very sad moment of grief for his family," said Mbeki.

"But it also constitutes a personal loss for us because over many decades, he served both as our guide and one of our fathers."

Mbeki said Mandela's mission should still be fulfilled.

"As we mourn President Mandela’s passing we must ask ourselves the fundamental question - what shall we do to respond to the tasks of building a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa, a people centred society free of hunger, poverty, disease and inequality, as well as Africa’s renaissance, to whose attainment president Nelson Mandela dedicated his whole life?"

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma  |  graca machel  |  johannesburg

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