Motlanthe wishes SA a merry Xmas

By Drum Digital
25 December 2013

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe wished South Africa a merry Christmas on Wednesday.

"Unlike the many Christmas days we have had before, this year we celebrate the festive season and in particular Christmas day shortly after the mourning of our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela," said Motlanthe in a statement.

"His writing and actions will continue to inspire democracy, peace, justice, equality, non-sexism and non-racialism across ages; may his soul rest in peace."

Despite the sombre mood that had enveloped South Africa following Mandela's death on December 5, Motlanthe wished one and all a merry and peaceful Christmas on behalf of government.

"At the same time, let us remember that as we celebrate and relish the joys of this moment, many here and in other parts of the world are not able to share in these delights that some of us take for granted," he said.

"In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to appeal to all of us to lend a helping hand to fellow humanity by sharing and showing compassion, especially to the vulnerable among us.

"Let us also console those who have unfortunately lost family members and friends through natural and unnatural causes during the course of the year."

During the season of goodwill, Motlanthe urged South Africans to not indulge in substance and alcohol abuse, and avoid physical violence at all costs.

He thanked everyone in the country, from government, civil society to business, for the work they had done this year to ensure the country succeeded.

"Special thanks to those who are engaged in essential services, who have to work day and night to protect us and care for us: members of the armed forces who serve our country with loyalty and selflessness," the deputy president said.

"Health professionals and workers who care for the sick and do their best to promote a healthy nation; traffic officers and other law enforcement agencies who are doing their job under testing conditions to make our country safe; refuse removers and all those who render emergency services."

He said, above all, everyone should give themselves a loving hug for being such good South Africans.

"I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." – Sapa

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