2 July 2014
President Jacob Zuma was on Tuesday presented with 4 850 books of condolences for Nelson Mandela, sent by South African embassies around the world and government offices around the country – and the books, along with thousands of message cards, are still coming in.
South African missions abroad, and government offices at home, opened condolence books for people to pay their respects to Mandela following his passing away in Johannesburg on 5 December.
Zuma paged through some of the books on Tuesday as Mandela Month got under way in South Africa, where July is dedicated to national humanitarian service in honour of the great man.
Mandela’s birthday, 18 July, has been designated by the United Nations as International Mandela Day, when people around the world are urged to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to doing work in service of humanity.
“I wish to thank all the people of South Africa and also the people of the world for taking their time to sign condolence books and to pay tribute to our beloved world icon, Tata Madiba, and to comfort his family,” Zuma said in a statement.
“Let us make this a month of reflection and of building a caring society … in memory of Madiba and all heroes and heroines of our struggle for liberation. Let us work together to build the South Africa that Madiba dreamed about and worked for.”
‘You made us who we are today’
The Presidency shared the following selection of messages from the condolence books:
“Our father may be gone but the ‘Madiba magic’ still lives on in our hearts.” (Mavis Sebothoma, Gauteng province)
“A true leader who fought for liberty. The nation will forever love and cherish you.” (Sne, KwaZulu-Natal)
“To our beloved Father of the Nation you made us for who we are today. You made us proud and taught us to stand for ourselves. Without you the world is nothing. Thank you Tata for being our hero. May your soul rest in peace.” (Molebogeng Setlhare, North West)
“A man of great tenacity and unimaginable wisdom. Your spirit shall live on.” (Thembi Mlotha, Free State)
“You were great Tata, siyohlala sikukhumbula ngelotsanvo ne mehluko lowentile etimphilweni letfu baba. Love you.” (Maria Mashele, Mpumalanga)
“Rus vrose Madiba, jy het baie beteken vir ons land!! RIP.” (Mathane R.L., Western Cape)
“Tata wethu indlela ubusenzela ngayo nempatho ubusiphathe ngayo, asiyi kuyilibala nakwiminyaka ezayo sakuhlala siyigcinilie. Hamba kahle Mthomkhulu akakho oyakufananawe.” (Zoliswa Mboya, Eastern Cape)
“Robala ka khutso senatla. O e lwetse tokologo, re batho ka wena Nelson Mandela. Diphetogo e bile tse dintsi ka wena. Robala ka khutso tate.” (Onnica Modiba, Limpopo)