Moving speeches from Madiba funeral

2013-12-15 13:50
Kenneth Kaunda (AFP)

Kenneth Kaunda (AFP)

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Cape Town - As former president Nelson Mandela is finally laid to rest at his home village of Qunu in Eastern Cape, we take a look at some of the messages that came out of key speakers at the global icon state funeral.

Mandela’s friend Ahmed Kathrada could not help but yearn for the time that he spent with the struggle icon during the long journey to a democratic South Africa.

Kathrada said Mandela had finally joined the A-team of the ANC and other prominent leaders, adding he that he was going to miss his “brother” .

Kathrada was incarcerated with Mandela on Roben Island.

He said South Africa was deeply grateful, through the sacrifice made by Mandela, that the country was a lively democracy.

"We are grateful that dignity has been restored to all South Africans. We are deeply grateful that the lives of thousands of people have improved and continue to improve," he said.

"We are deeply grateful for a Constitution that encompasses all that is good in us."

Kenneth Kaunda

South Africans were also reminded of the oneness of the African continent when Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda  took to the stage and gave a solemn eulogy on the history of how African countries were involved in the South African Struggle.

His speech reminded South Africans that the continent must be united and shun all xenophobic attacks on one another.

Kaunda took the opportunity to take a dig at the apartheid regime, speaking of the regime’s shameful treatment of Mandela and his fellow men.

"I had a chance to meet a number of friends of the boer company. I spent three nights with [former prime minister John] Vorster on a train [stationed on the railway bridge over Victoria Falls, which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe]," Kaunda said.

"I asked the prime minister to please release Nelson Mandela and his colleagues and come together in discussions. It came to nothing.

"Then came another boer leader - I think he was called [PW] Botha - to discuss the future of South Africa together. I didn't succeed and it also came to nothing. "Then came my meeting with FW de Klerk... and, after a few hours, I called a press conference where I said: 'I think I can do business with this man'. Thank goodness he released this great man."

Joyce Banda

Malawi President and SADC chief Joyce Banda remembered Mandela’s humility and how he had helped shape her life.

The first woman president in the region, Banda received a standing ovation when she spokes about her leadership position.

"The first time I was privileged to meet president Mandela was his visit to Malawi, upon his release from prison," she said.

In 1996, she visited Robben Island and was inspired by Mandela's story. She later met him at a conference in Botswana in 1997.

"I was inspired by the great leader who was focused, calm and collected."

She said she was amazed by Mandela’s leadership.

Nelson Mandela has been laid to rest in Qunu. Say your final farewell and be published on News24 by e-mailing or uploading.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  joyce banda  |  kenneth kaunda  |  ahmed kathrada  |  malawi  |  zambia  |  southern africa

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