Zuma: Mandela children suffered

2013-12-15 13:18
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Mandela's granddaughter gives a tribute

2013-12-15 12:30

Watch a tribute from Nelson Mandela's granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, who shared personal stories from Mandela's life.WATCH

Qunu - President Jacob Zuma acknowledged on Sunday that the children of former president Nelson Mandela had suffered because of their father's absence.

Speaking at Mandela's state funeral in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, Zuma thanked them for sharing him with the world.

"We acknowledge the suffering of your own children, who had an absent father," said Zuma.

He said it must have been difficult for them to have a father who the apartheid regime had labelled as a "dangerous man who was a terrorist".

"They must be proud to be brought onto this earth by a man so great and humble," Zuma said of Mandela's children.

Mandela had six children, three of whom have died.


Zuma thanked Mandela's late wife Evelyn Mase, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and his widow Graca Machel.

"We acknowledge comrade Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who kept your name alive... through your imprisonment," said Zuma.

He said that even when the African National Congress was banned, Madikizela-Mandela refused to be silent.

"We are proud of the contribution she has made to the freedom of the country," said Zuma.

He thanked Graca Machel for being at Mandela's side.

"The past year has not been easy for her," said Zuma, adding that Machel had ensured Mandela was comfortable and always well-cared for.

He said Mandela and Machel both had a passion for children.

"The two of you made a formidable pair for the benefit of children," said Zuma.

He said that in Mandela's memory, South Africa's children should grow up in a country that is not only politically free, but free of violence, crime, disease, and indignity.

"You said: 'I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations'. You forgave those who took you away for most of your adult life and dehumanised the majority of your compatriots...

"Tata, as your triumphant journey comes to an end, we sincerely thank you for dedicating your life to building... a free South Africa," said Zuma.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma  |  east london

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