The 5th of December 2013 is a day that will forever remain in the hearts of all South Africans and freedom loving people across the world, for this is the day that Nelson Mandela’s long walk has ended. It is without a doubt a sad day day in the life of this young nation that Madiba helped build through his lifelong struggle for freedom, human dignity, equality and democracy. Madiba gave up his freedom so that we can gain ours. For this selfless sacrifice we shall be forever indebted to him, his family and his generation of leaders that led the struggle for freedom in South Africa.
Let us use the sad occasion of Madiba’s passing to remind ourselves of what it was that Madiba and his generation struggled and sacrificed so much for. Let this moment mark the redoubling of all our efforts in ensuring that Madiba’s ideals continue to find expression in the lived experiences and reality of our people for whom he sacrificed so much.
After taking oath as the first democratically elected President of South Africa on 10 May 1994, Madiba said: “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread and water for all… Let freedom reign.” On the occasion to celebrate his 90th birthday on 5 August 2008, Madiba said: “Protect, defend, consolidate and advance democracy – within the organization (the African National Congress) and in national life. Let us give the lead in demonstrating our respect for the institutions of our democracy – both in our actions and words.”
Let us heed the call made by Madiba and redouble our efforts in promoting accountability, justice, equality and peace in the land. We are all called on to do what we can to fight poverty. We are all called on to protect the democratic gains won in 1994. If we succeed in doing this then we would have paid a fitting tribute to the man that gave us his all.
Lala ngoxolo Tata!