“We are celebrating more than mourning because it was a life lived to the fullest,” Mantashe said at the Ngangelizwe Rotary Stadium in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.
“The world we are living in today is better than it was 20 years ago thanks to Mandela, who led us to the promised land.”
The African National Congress would continue to build on the successes of the past 20 years, he said.
“If we serve with honesty, we will defeat hunger and poverty.”
He was speaking during a prayer service held by the 12 Apostles Church. He told the crowd that it was up to the ANC to take the tools left behind by leaders like Mandela and build the future.
Mantashe said it was difficult to keep corrupt people out of the ANC because the party was so big. He compared it to opening a window for fresh air and said it was impossible to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
“You don’t deprive yourself of fresh air, but deal will the mosquitoes.”
Mandela should be given a decent funeral, Mantashe added.
He called on church leaders to be actively involved with the party. He said church leaders and ANC veterans were the only people who could go to the party’s offices without an appointment.
“Church leaders are not using that opportunity. Don’t be scared to correct and guide us so that we can be able to correct the right and wrong,” he said.
After Mantashe spoke there was a prayer and loud cries from those gathered.