Today, South Africa lost the greatest son of its soil. Today the rainbow nation lost its father.
Today, we are a nation united in grief.
It is with deep and profound sadness that we say: Lala ngoxolo Tata. Asoze sikulibale (Rest in peace Tata, we will never forget you).
Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Madiba’s wife, Graca, his former wife, Winnie, his daughters Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindziswa, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.
May they find the strength to overcome the pain of this great loss. And may the entire Mandela family be accorded the respect they deserve at this time. May they be accorded the right to mourn in peace. The nation mourns with them.
We all belong to the South African family – and we owe that sense of belonging to Madiba. That is his legacy. It is why there is an unparalleled outpouring of national grief at his passing. It is commensurate with the contribution he made to our country.
Through his humility, moral conviction and bold leadership, Madiba gave us a gift for which we, and successive generations will be forever grateful. He gave us his vision of a free and inclusive South Africa and the unwavering belief that such a society could be achieved in his lifetime.
He was, quite simply, the greatest South African that ever lived. We shall never see his like again.
Let all South Africans join hands as we mourn Madiba’s passing and celebrate his life. Let us re-affirm his values and recapture his spirit in all we do.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba: 18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013
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