Goodbye Mandela

One of the world’s most revered statesmen and a global symbol of resistance to apartheid, Nelson Mandela has died with Zambia’s fourth president Rupiah Banda describing the anti-apartheid icon as a great leader who had taught humanity the virtue of forgiveness.

Writing in a book of condolences at the South African High Commission in Lusaka’s Kabulonga area today, the former Head of State said Mandela had taught the world priceless lessons on the commitment to the emancipation of humanity.

“President Mandela, the great son of South Africa, Africa and the world. You have left us with many lessons to learn such as commitment to the freedom of humanity. You influenced many of us to struggle and to suffer,” read part of President Banda’s message.

Zambia’s luminary politician Vernon Mwaanga has eulogized South Africa’s first black president and life-long anti apartheid advocate and icon Mandela who died on Thursday night as an icon of peace and national reconciliation.

“I am saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela to no end. I would have loved that he lives longer for the sake of South Africans but that would have defied the rules of nature,” Mwaanga said.

Political activist Dante Saunders said Mandela fondly known as Madiba, had set the highest standards for good leadership not only for the people of South Africa but Africa and the world at large.

Saunders told the Daily Nation yesterday that Mandela was an inspiration to Africa’s future leaders who believed in true democracy, reconciliation for national unity and development.

Saunders said Mandela had dedicated his entire life to fighting all forms of injustices and for the liberation of the continent from social, economical and political exploitation.

“Madiba had set the highest standards for good leadership not only for South Africans but for Africa and the world at large. He was an inspiration to all future leaders in Africa who truly believe in democracy and reconciliation for the sake of development and national unity,” Saunder said.

Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi has said as the world mourned the death and celebrated the legacy of Mandela it was important to reflect on what made the tall Thembu son, the greatest icon of the liberation struggle, justice, peace, freedom and reconciliation.

United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema in his eulogy said Mandala was an honest and selfless man that young but future leaders should work hard to emulate.

Fondly known as Madiba, Mandela served 27 years in prison for anti apartheid activities and had dedicated his entire life to serving humanity and preaching against all forms of injustices.

Released from jail in Robin Island in 1990, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president and led the African continent to a new era.

He died on Thursday night in his sleep at age 95.

South African President Jacob Zuma confirmed the death of Mandela saying:  “He is now resting. He is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” said Zuma, South Africa’s third black President.

Various personalities and political luminaries have eulogised Mandela describing the anti-apartheid immortalised icon as a great leader who had taught humanity the virtues of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Mandela’s life struggle was summed up in his speech during the Rivonia trial in April 1964 in which he said: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, my lord, if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”