Gwede Mantashe urges mourners to be on their best behaviour

2013-12-13 15:44

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has called for order ahead of former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral in Qunu on Sunday.

Mantashe’s words come in the wake of events at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday where President Jacob Zuma was booed by sections of the crowd that attended the memorial service of the late icon.

Read: Zuma booing incident: the start of a very public rebellion

“We should be on our best behaviour as we honour Madiba and not do things that will be a disservice to him,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe today praised Mandela and said the 10 days of mourning were also for celebrating the life of a “great man”.

He said Mandela, the first commander and founder of the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto weSizwe, was not a soft leader but a disciplined and dedicated leader and revolutionary.

Speaking during a prayer service by traditional leaders in Mvezo, Mandela’s birthplace, Mantashe said Mandela was fearless and selfless.

“Madiba took up arms in pursuit of peace. He sacrificed and put his life on the line in order for his people to have a better life and to be free,” Mantashe said.

Traditional leaders paid tribute to Madiba, to whom they attributed their recognition.

AbaThembu Chief Daludumo Mtirara said Madiba wanted traditional leaders to be groomed so they could understand the issues of the world and be better placed to lead their nations.

“He was a hero, we learnt so much and we continue to learn from him even now when he is no more,” said Mtirara.

Mantashe said Madiba was a principled leader and a man with a vision.

He said he was glad to see that those who had been left behind were honouring Madiba by burying him in Qunu, where he wanted to be buried.

Mantashe, who was accompanied by Eastern Cape legislature speaker Fikile Xasa, ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni and cooperative governance minister Lechesa Tsenoli thanked the people of Mvezo for giving birth to Madiba and sharing him with South Africa and the world.

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