Mandela’s spirit lives on – Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: DOC)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: DOC)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the nation to build the kind of society to which Nelson Mandela dedicated his life.

The acting president was speaking at the first anniversary of the apartheid icons’s death at a ceremony held at Freedom Park in Pretoria on Friday morning.

Proceedings started with three minutes of silence, in honour of the late statesman.

Mandela’s wife, Graça Machel, his son, Chief Mandla Mandela, and veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos were among those who attended the remembrance ceremony.

Ramaphosa said that Madiba will be remembered as a forgiving conciliatory who fought great strides to have the democracy the country enjoyed today.

“His long walk to freedom is over, he can rest now, but ours is ongoing. He has passed the baton to us and every day we need to prove ourselves equal to the task of liberating ourselves and others from hunger, poverty, from hopelessness, from inequality and from unemployment.”

Ramaphosa said that dramatic efforts had been made against the “profanity” which Madiba dedicated his life towards fighting.

Meanwhile Bizos and Madiba’s eldest grandson Mandla cautioned that Madiba’s legacy not be tarnished by the infligtings of politicians.

Bizos said Madiba had great respect for the Constitution, which they, in part, drafted together.

“I am deeply concerned about the attacks on the Constitution by some politicians who have not read it, do not understand it and don’t respect it. Madiba would be disappointed by some of the things happening in SA at the moment.”

Mandla also said that his grandfather would be horrified at the recent debacles in Parliament.

“Madiba would have been horrified that most of the work that needs to be carried out by Parliamentarians is being delayed because of this infighting between some politicians who cannot settle their differences.

“He would not have been impressed and would have called for discipline, peace and reconciliation so that Parliament can be a place for constructive debate.”

Mandla said that Madiba would wish that his legacy lived on in all South Africans, and that it needed to be respected.


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