Mandela: SA needs good leaders

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Johannesburg - Now as much as ever in our history South Africa requires disciplined leaders, former president Nelson Mandela said at a birthday celebration in his honour in Pretoria on Saturday.

He said, the ANC were inheritors of a great organisation, one that had led for almost a century.

"It is now in your hands to uphold the best and the noblest of that history. "

"I would be nothing without the ANC. I thank the ANC for having given meaning to my 90 years on this planet," he said.

Mandela asked the public not to celebrate him as an individual but to celebrate the achievements and reaffirm the values of a great organisation.

He also urged the public to celebrate and reaffirm the principle of collective leadership and inclusiveness.

" Let no individual, section, faction or group ever regard itself as greater than the organisation and the common good of all our people.

"Our nation comes from a history of deep division and strife, let us never through our deeds or words take our people back down that road."

Mandela said South Africans had fought hard and sacrificed much for democracy.

"Protect, defend, consolidate and advance democracy - within the organisation and in national life." Mandela said.

He also said that South Africans should reaffirm their fundamental commitment to creating a better life for all, particularly the poor and marginalised.

"Poverty and deprivation in our midst demean all of us. We came together as a nation to end the scourge of apartheid.

"Today we are challenged to end poverty and all its attendant suffering," he said.

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