Zuma’s Speech in Full
My Fellow South Africans,
Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed.
He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the 5th of December 2013.
He is now resting. He is now at peace.
Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.
Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.
His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world.
His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude.
They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.
Our thoughts are with his wife Mrs. Graca Machel, his former wife Ms. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, with his children, his grand-children, his great grand-children and the entire family.
Our thoughts are with his friends, comrades and colleagues who fought alongside Madiba over the course of a lifetime of struggle.
Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood.
Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.
This is the moment of our deepest sorrow.
Our Nation Has Lost its Greatest Son…
Yet, what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.
And in him we saw so much of ourselves.
Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell.
Our beloved Madiba will be Accorded a State Funeral…
I have ordered that all flags of the Republic of South Africa be lowered to half-mast from tomorrow, 6 December, and to remain at half-mast until after the funeral.
As we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Madiba personified.
Let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family.
As we gather, wherever we are in the country and wherever we are in the world, let us recall the values for which Madiba fought.
Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another.
Let us commit ourselves to strive together — sparing neither strength nor courage — to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
Let us express, each in our own way, the deep gratitude we feel for a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity.
This is indeed the moment of our deepest sorrow.
Yet it must also be the moment of our greatest determination.
A determination to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and to not rest until we have realised his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa, and a better world.
We will always love you Madiba!
May your soul rest in peace.
God Bless Africa.
GOODLUCK JONATHAN: Mandela’s Spirit Will Continue to Inspire Present and Future Generations of Africa
“I write to commiserate with you, the Government and people of South Africa and the family of Dr. Nelson Mandela on the death of one of the greatest sons of Africa.
“Although it has come at the advanced age of 95, Madiba’s death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent. He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over and will be eternally honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid policy, one of the world’s most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man.
“Dr. Mandela served as a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world. In the course of his life-long epic struggle for freedom, fairness, justice, equity and the human rights of his oppressed people, Dr. Mandela made unparalleled personal sacrifices. The indefatigable spirit which he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations.
“Dr. Mandela will always be remembered and honoured by all mankind as one of its greatest liberators, a wise, courageous and compassionate leader, and an icon of true democracy.
“We join you, the Mandela family, the people of South Africa and lovers of freedom, peace, justice and equity all over the world in praying that God Almighty will receive the Great Madiba’s soul and grant him eternal rest,” President Jonathan wrote.
BARACK OBAMA: Nelson Mandela ‘Belongs to the Ages’
(CNN) — The world has “lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings” with the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, U.S. President Barack Obama said. “He belongs to the ages.”
“At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
“And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us — he belongs to the ages.
“Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa — and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings — and countries — can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
“To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
“To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself — that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
“We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
“For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.”
In London, David Cameron said Mandela was a towering figure: “A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero. Across the country he loved they will be mourning a man who was the embodiment of grace. Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life.”
GEORGE W. BUSH
Former US president George W Bush said: “President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example.”
Former US president Bill Clinton said: “Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings. History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.
“We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life. All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived. He proved that there is freedom in forgiving, that a big heart is better than a closed mind, and that life’s real victories must be shared.”
Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, said Mandela was a “great man” who had made racism “not just immoral but stupid”. “I worked with him closely and remember well his visits to Downing Street. He was a wonderful man to be around, with a sharp wit, extraordinary political savvy and a lovely way of charming everyone in a building.
“He would delight in making sure that the person on the door or serving the tea would feel at home with him and be greeted by him with the same kindness and respect he would show a leader. So the warmth of his personality was equal to the magnitude of his contribution to the world.”
BAN KI MOON
In New York, Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said he wanted to express his deep admiration and respect for Mandela and the people of South Africa. “Africa has suffered from colonial rule and abuse of human rights and human dignity and it’s only because of such a great man like Mandela that it is possible for people to live in human dignity. We have to learn from his determination and wisdom to make the world a better world.”
In Dublin, Enda Kenny, the taoiseach, described the death as “a great light extinguished”. “The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe,” Kenny said.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “South Africa has lost its greatest citizen and its father. Nelson Mandela, fighting to the end, is freed to be with his God in joy and reward for his great service and sacrifice. We are challenged to show the same degree of humanity, of courage and of generosity.”
Former prime minister Gordon Brown said: “Nelson Mandela was the greatest leader of our generation. A leader of magnanimity, fortitude, unshakeable optimism and, most of all, the most courageous man I ever met.
“True courage requires not only strength of will but strength of belief. What motivated Nelson Mandela and drove him to risk his life for freedom was a burning passion that, irrespective of colour, race and background, all people are created equal – and his list of historic achievements starts with a multiracial South Africa.
“Every accolade in the world was awarded to him, but the one he prized most was Children’s Champion. As he said in his book, he had climbed one mountain, but there is another still to climb – dignity for every child. He was the greatest of Africans. He had greatness as vast as the continent he loved. He had within him the greatness of the human soul.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband said that the world had lost the inspirational figure of our age. “Nelson Mandela taught people across the globe the true meaning of courage, strength, hope and reconciliation. From campaigner to prisoner to president to global hero, Nelson Mandela will always be remembered for his dignity, integrity and his values of equality and justice.
“He was an activist who became president and a president who always remained an activist. Right to the end of his life he reminded the richest nations of the world of their responsibilities to the poorest. Above all, he showed us the power of people, in the cause of justice, to overcome the mightiest obstacles.”
The former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said: “Throughout history, a few special people have been able to transcend differences and change the world for the better. Nelson Mandela was one of those people who had a vision for human rights and equality.
“Those beliefs made him the father of multi-ethnic democracy in South Africa. All freedom-loving people will miss him, but we will never forget his sacrifice and his achievements.”
France’s president, François Hollande, said: “Nelson Mandela made history, that of South Africa and that of the whole world. A tireless fighter against apartheid, he defeated it with his courage, his obstinacy and his perseverance.
“Throughout all these years, Nelson Mandela has incarnated the South African nation, the cement of its unity and the pride of Africa. He mobilised all his strength to put his country in its rightful place among the main world powers … right to the end of his life he served peace. Nelson Mandela’s message will not disappear.
“He will continue to inspire those who fight for freedom and give confidence to people who defend just causes and universal rights. He showed that human will could not only break chains of subjugation, but free the energy to succeed in building a common destiny. France shares the infinite sadness of the South African people.”
Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, referenced his country’s own independence leader Gandhi. “A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul.” Gandhi spent formative years as a political activist in South Africa and Mandela knew Gandhi’s son Manilal, historians pointed out.
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, described Mandela as a “great leader” who “fought with a strong will to eliminate apartheid and achieved a great deal by putting national reconciliation at the centre of his nation-building”. The foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, said: “I wish to express my heartfelt respect for the achievements of the former South African president and hope that the government and people of South Africa will overcome their grief and go on to further develop their country.”
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said Mandela “was never haughty. He worked to heal rifts within South African society and succeeded in preventing outbreaks of racial hatred.” Shimon Peres, president of Israel, praised Mandela as “a builder of bridges of peace and dialogue who paid a heavy personal price for his struggle in the years he spent in prison and fighting for his people”.
Jesse Jackson: “Mandela chose reconciliation over retribution
Reverend Jesse Jackson was one of the first people to greet Nelson Mandela the day he was released from prison after a 27-year confinement.”