5 December 2013

My Fellow South Africans,
Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed.
He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the 5th of December 2013.
He is now resting. He is now at peace.
Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.
Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.
His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world.
His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude.
They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.
Our thoughts are with his wife Mrs Graca Machel, his former wife Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, with his children, his grand-children, his great grand-children and the entire family.
Our thoughts are with his friends, comrades and colleagues who fought alongside Madiba over the course of a lifetime of struggle.
Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood.
Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.
This is the moment of our deepest sorrow.
Our nation has lost its greatest son.
Yet, what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.
And in him we saw so much of ourselves.
Fellow South Africans,
Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell.
Our beloved Madiba will be accorded a State Funeral.
I have ordered that all flags of the Republic of South Africa be lowered to half-mast from tomorrow, 6 December, and to remain at half-mast until after the funeral.
As we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Madiba personified.
Let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family.
As we gather, wherever we are in the country and wherever we are in the world, let us recall the values for which Madiba fought.
Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another.
Let us commit ourselves to strive together – sparing neither strength nor courage – to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
Let us express, each in our own way, the deep gratitude we feel for a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity.
This is indeed the moment of our deepest sorrow.
Yet it must also be the moment of our greatest determination.
A determination to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and to not rest until we have realised his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa, and a better world.
We will always love you Madiba!
May your soul rest in peace.
God Bless Africa.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.



10 Responses to Address to the nation by President Jacob Zuma on the departure of former President Nelson Mandela

  • Tariq Ahmed says:

    So filled with sympathy for the passing of such a good and noble man. As President he was the classiest world leader in many decades, compassionate, wise, and understated. As a human being, he was simply remarkable.

    May God console you all and give you even better — Mr. Mandela was the kind of man, who’d genuinely be happy were that prayer answered.

    With deep respect,
    Tariq Ahmed

  • joveta anne wyman says:

    nelson, i loved and respected you ever since i read your magnificent book long walk to freedom. 27 years in prison is unimaginable to most of in peace brother.

  • Carla Almond-van Eijnatten says:

    The whole world, but especially your nation lost a man, who was an inspiration to all those who believe that ALL men are created equal. His words of wisdom will never be silenced. Rest in peace, Madiba

  • Michael Anderson says:

    To the Honorable Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool of The Republic of South Africa

    Dear Mr. President Zuma, to the People of South Africa and all of Africa;

    It is with a heavy heart that I have become aware of the passing of
    our beloved friend Nelson Madiba Mandela.

    Please express my condolences to the entire Mandela family, to his
    tribe, and to all  the People of South Africa and Africa itself that
    is mourning his departure to take the journey to the fathers of all.

    For myself, a survivor of unannounced detention and torture; his
    simple grace, his compassion, his caring and his love for his fellow
    human beings started the process to bring me home toward my own peace.

    In his caring came recognition and acknowledgement of suffering and of
    pain, and with his love came hope for the future. My future,
    everyone’s future,

    And yet, I am glad for him that he has taken the journey and gone to
    his fathers.

    Along with the ancients he will be watching down upon all of us to
    remind us what we all world wide are supposed to do to make our world
    a better place.

    Madiba led the way, he showed us all the path towards peace and
    harmony between all peoples, and it is now time for us to follow.

    Upon hearing of the passing of Madiba some say that in this world

    a great light has gone out.

    No light has gone out in the world

    Yes, he has taken the journey, yet that light some say has left this world is here, within

    each and every one of us.

    You and I and countless others.

    Mr. Mandela proved to the world that borders and governments do not matter as much

    as people do matter in this world, and that the power of individuals coming together for

    good and what is right is invincible.

    I will always remember his eyes, for they said everything.

    He understood.

    He understood torture.

    He was a great man, my friend, and he will be missed.

    With my and my family’s best wishes and prayers,

    Michael Anderson PhD
    305 W Magnolia #113
    Fort Collins. Colorado USA 80521

  • Yared says:

    Madiba the voice of humanity, love, peace, humility and respect to one another. Madiba the bravest of all times who conquerred hatrate with love, violence with peace, grudge with foregiveness, ruthlessness with kindness, anger with calmness; you are the one who conquered billions of hearts just by doing the right things , over coming negative emotions. RIP Madiba.

  • Beverley says:

    Deeply saddened on hearing this news. Mr Mandela was truly a ‘hero’ and an inspiration to everyone the whole world over. It’s in everyones hands now to keep the peace. The world mourns a great, great man.

  • Fenta says:

    Let his soul rest in peace in heaven, as he was a great man of peace, love, brotherhood not only for South Africa but for our world. Shalom Madiba.

  • Dr. Judy Rashid says:

    To my sisters and brothers of beloved South Africa;

    It was in the year 2000 that I was blessed to make my entry back to my ancestral lands of Africa, South Africa in particular. This was for the first time for any member of my immediate family to return back to Africa since the 500 year diaspora when we were first torn away from the shores of Africa to emerge now known as African Americans.

    I am eternally grateful to Tata Madiba for having braved the path for me to return and also to the wonderful people of South Africa for staying the course even when Madiba was taken away. You kept the lights burning for this daughter to find her way back home. I thank God for you Madiba and for your commitment and compassion as a warrior for unwavering justice and equality . May Almighty God grant you a place in paradise. To the South African people whom I have come to love, still stay the course . Rest in Peace Tata Madiba and thank you for being obedient to the spirit who guided you to enlightened the world and set millions free.

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