The unbanning of the ANC and other political parties, the release of NELSON MANDELA and fellow political prisoners ushered in a new chapter in the life of South Africa that culminated in the new democratic dispensation. This moment was highly significant for the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) whose mission was to free Africa from the yoke of colonisation and apartheid.
The creation of a new South Africa in 1994 allowed the continent to fully dedicate its energies towards supporting the building of capable States in Africa, effectively addressing poverty and inequality; growing our economies; mobilizing Africans towards a common development agenda and reclaiming our dignity and pride. It is during this era that Africa experienced the leadership of NELSON MANDELA and South Africa’s immense contribution to the rest of the continent.
Mandela joins a list of distinguished African leaders namely, Nkwame Nkrumah , Julius Nyerere, and many others who shaped and led this continent to re-discovery and re-awakening in order to achieve goals of peace, development and prosperity. The fruits of the seeds planted by these leaders culminated in the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU) and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a socio economic blueprint of the continent that carried the hopes and dreams of the African people.
We will forever cherish the spirit of Ubuntu and caring that Mandela displayed especially towards the vulnerable in our society; we will cherish the selflessness and revolutionary ways he exhibited in addressing fundamental issues of peace and development; we will cherish his comradeship spirit that enjoined him to all humanity as a global icon.
As we mourn his passing we celebrate the many gifts he shared with us amidst the sacrifices that he and his family endured. Our hearts go out to his family, his comrades and compatriots, fellow Africans and the global village that came to know, love and cherish, Madiba!
May he rest in peace!
Ah! Dalibunga, Madiba, Yem-Yem, Vela bembhentsela, Ngqolomsila!