Monday, March 24, 2014

Madiba's death shocks Kaunda
By Masuzyo Chakwe, Brighton Phiri and Kombe Chimpinde-Mataka
Sat 07 Dec. 2013, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says Nelson Mandela was an icon and a hero of the anti-apartheid struggle, who will be remembered by many for his courage, endurance and for championing peace, justice and reconciliation in South Africa.

And Dr. Kenneth Kaunda says Mandela's demise is a serious challenge. In a message of condolences to South African President Jacob Zuma, President Sata said Mandela selflessly devoted his time advocating freedom and racial equality.

"It is indeed with a deep sense of great sadness that I learnt of the passing away of your beloved former president, His Excellency Mr Nelson Rolihlahla 'Madiba' Mandela. On behalf of the government, the people of the Republic of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, allow me to extend my deepest condolences to you, the bereaved Mandela family and indeed the people of South Africa," he stated.

President Sata said Mandela, as president of South Africa, served his country with distinction and was dedicated to uplifting the welfare of his fellow countrymen and women.

"As you and the people of South Africa mourn his passing on, we join you in spirit, reflection and prayer. We also pray that the Almighty God will grant the bereaved family His abundant mercies, solace and fortitude to bear this great loss of a true son of the African soil," stated President Sata.

And in an interview, Dr Kaunda said he received the demise of former South Africa's first black president Mandela, with a terrible shock.
"His passing has come with a terrible shock. I know he has been unwell for a long time but that does not reduce on the sadness and terrible shock his passing brings to all our lives," said Dr. Kaunda. "We pray and hope that the people of South Africa will find a way of responding to the great challenge his passing brings to us all, in South Africa and region as a whole… Amen."

Dr Kaunda yesterday signed in the book of condolences that has been opened at the South African High Commission in honour of the late Mandela.

Dr Kaunda said in his note: "Madiba, I have no doubt in my mind that already you are by his side as your struggle for South Africa's independence was a great struggle for the entire human race, it is, therefore, fitting to say go in peace my dear elder brother for you have done it all very well."

Dr Kaunda told journalists shortly after he wrote a note and read it loudly that he particularly remembered Mandela for the gratefulness shown to those countries and leaders that helped him in the struggle for the independence of South Africa.

He said Mandela loved mankind regardless of colour, race, faith, tribe because he saw everyone as God's creature
And veteran politician and freedom fighter Vernon Mwaanga described Mandela as an uncompromising icon of justice, peace, national reconciliation and a universal hero.

Mwaanga said in a statement that all pro-democracy and peace loving people would remember Mandela.

"The death of Nelson Mandela has saddened me to no end. I would have loved to see him live longer for the sake of South Africans, but that would have defied the rules of nature," he said.
Mwaanga said his interaction with Mandela taught him that even in greatness, there was humility.

"The world and South Africa, have lost a charismatic son who will be remembered by all pro-democracy and peace loving people, all pro-democracy and peace loving people all over the world," said Mwaanga .
And South African High Commissioner to Zambia Piet Mathebe said the embassy had continued receiving messages of goodwill from Zambians on the passing of Mandela.

"From as early 06:00 hours, myself, members of staff have received phone calls from people from all walks of life. All Zambians were really concerned and they are asking as to whether it was true because our relationship with the people of Zambia comes along way. It is a historical relationship. It is a relationship that was built over centuries. That is why they regard Mandela not only as a father of South Africa, but also as their father," High Commissioner Mathebe said.
"As of today from 14:00 hours, the mission will open a book of condolences for those people in and around Zambia who would want to come and grieve with us and there will be a memorial service around next week where everybody will be allowed to come and mourn this great icon."
And High Commissioner Mathebe said that the South African embassy will not guarantee any special arrangements for Zambians wishing to travel to South Africa over the mourning period.

In an address to the nation on Thursday night, President Zuma announced the passing of Mandela.

Zuma said South Africa had lost its greatest son and a father. He also called on South Africans to conduct themselves with dignity and respect.
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said Mandela's life should be celebrated.

"When Mandela was arrested, I was 2 years old. When he was released from jail, I was working. Meaning I spent all my life hearing about Nelson Mandela. I am privileged to have lived in the Mandela era, because all I know and do in politics is inspired by this selfless man. My personal reflections about this man can be summed up in a few words; selfless and honest," he said.

"When Mandela was under trial at Rivonia, he chose to tell the state the truth. Ordinarily a man who was a lawyer, is expected to address the court to issues that would conjure leniency,but Mandela knew who he was fighting and told the truth."

Hichilema said Mandela had left behind a legacy that no one could fill but one that everyone could and should admire."You leave behind principles and rules by which you lived your life, that everyone should strive to live by. It is moments like these that people must strive to ask themselves, 'How do I want to be remembered? What do I want people to say after I am no more?'" said Hichilema.

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