“I know that he is smiling and happy among the family he chose to build,” she said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria during the commemoration of the statesman’s death.
“The family he chose to build with [Walter] Sisulu, [OR] Tambo, [Lilian] Ngoyi and so on.”
Mandela had built a family of strong men and women, she said.
“On the day of his passing I was not able to think, I was numb… but looking back I can imagine him tall and proud, walking, and all of them rising to welcome him… I know Madiba is in good hands.”
She said Mandela was at peace and surrounded by family when he died.
“I stand here today as a mother of two families. He was surrounded by family when he passed… his face had tranquillity and peace.
“When he left he said ‘I leave you in peace and I want you to live in peace’.”
Machel said Mandela’s legacy could not be claimed by one institution or country.
“It is up to everyone in the world to take a stake from his legacy of goodness and forgiveness.”
She thanked South Africans for their support.
“We cannot thank you enough for your support… and deep love.”
Mandela died at the age of 95 at his Houghton home in Johannesburg on December 5 last year.