PREMIER Noxolo Kiviet yesterday assured South Africans that although former president Nelson Mandela had gone, the ANC would not go astray.
She was addressing members at the Bhisho Legislature at a special sitting to honour the late Mandela, who died last Thursday night at his Houghton home in Johannesburg. He will be buried in Qunu on Sunday.
Kiviet thanked King Jongintaba Mtirara of the Abathembu for and nurturing Madiba”.
“I want to state it categorically that Madiba’s legacy should not be divorced from the ANC. He lived the ANC, without the ANC there would have been no Mandela. The ANC, with its magnificent policies and principles, became the perfect platform for Madiba to exercise his leadership skills.”
United Democratic Movement leader Jackson Bici sang a famous ANC struggle song: “Comrade Mandela uzulale ngoxolo. Sekudala uzabalaza [loosely “grooming ‘Rest in piece Comrade Mandela. You’ve long been struggling for freedom.’]”
Bici appealed to current leaders not to disappoint Mandela. “You know what Mandela did not like. Don’t do it.”
In the jam-packed public gallery were both young and old, including 12-yearold James Stevenson, the son of DA leader Bobby Stevenson.
Stevenson recalled how Madiba welcomed him at his (Madiba’s) welcome home rally in Motherwell after his release from jail back in 1990, coming to greet him with his hand outstretched.
“Today I can still sense the warmth of his presence. There was no doubt in my mind I was standing in the presence of a great man. He displayed strength, dignity and humility, values he lived out in his daily life,” said Stevenson.
COPE’s Nkosinathi Kuluta siad his humble persona “must guide us as the people and leaders of society to conduct our service to the people in dignity, respect and love”.
He called for the nation to foster reconciliation and harmonise race relations. — Zine George