Vavi: Mandela was larger than life

2013-12-06 22:08
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela was a larger than life figure who represented the best values of South African people, suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday.

"The big tree under whose shade we have hidden for 67 years of service to human kind has fallen," he said in a statement.

"For many months now, we had been preparing for this unavoidable passing of the colossus. Yet, now that this moment has arrived, we find out that we are not ready to let go of a man who was larger than life."

Vavi said Mandela never once "sought to remind anyone about what an important icon he was".

"Always down to earth and self-effacing, and respecting both his friends and those he had fundamental differences with, Mandela made everyone who came across him feel at ease, despite his overwhelming stature."

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night. He was 95-years-old.

"Madiba was a man of the people. Everywhere he went - in his native country South Africa and the whole democratic world - he drew magnitudes of crowds ready to share from his fountain of love and warmth," he said.

"He was a champion of reconciliation and peace, who single-handedly saved our country from an imminent civil war."

Vavi said Mandela at times went against prevailing sentiment on the ground to advocate for peace.

"At the time when many of us had only one thing in mind, to avenge the brutal killing of our hero Chris Hani, the leader of the SACP [SA Communist Party], he emerged as an indisputable leader even before the elections," he said.

"Since that day, Madiba was celebrated as a leader and a father of our land... Never will the world see a person so universally loved across the globe as Madiba."

Vavi is on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair with a junior employee of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Following his suspension, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA lodged an application in the High Court in Johannesburg, challenging Cosatu's decision to suspend Vavi.

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.

- Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  zwelenzima vavi  |  nelson mandela

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.