The Mandela Family Statement

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“On behalf of the Nelson Mandela family, we take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to the religious community for the thoughts and prayers extended to our family through prayer and meditation.

Indeed our burden of pain and sorrow is daily being lessened by the outpouring of national and international grief for our father and elder. We have always been mindful that we share Tata with rest of South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

Our mothers, Graca Machel and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are cognisant of the love, support, care, prayers and meditation extended to the family in the different form and manner during this hour of need.

Both our mothers, Graca Machel and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, nonetheless express their conviction that Nelson Mandela, like a flower, will continue to blossom forever in all your hearts.

The family of our departed dear father, is comforted in the knowledge that the world so deeply shares our sense of loss for one of Africa’s greatest sons.

We are melancholy but we do not despair. Instead, we are filled with hope.

Part of us is indeed gone forever, but he has left us enduring lessons and examples of what must be continued, what must be intensified, what must be ended and what must still be strived for.

Though he answered to the name father, husband, granddad, son and a statesman, we all understood that ultimately Tata remains an inspiration not only to us but the rest of humanity.

We who were privileged and honoured to share part of his being, a profound mix of sadness, pride and gratitude is the strongest emotion we share as a family.

That we were blessed to be associated with this great icon, and to have a role in perpetuating his legacy which he gifted humanity, is the most precious birth-right which he has bestowed on us all.

As we lift our eyes to the dawn of a new era without a family elder at our sides, we hope you will join us with all the passion, fervour, prayer and support with which you help us mourn his passing and to keep his dream alive.

Keep Nelson Mandela’s dream alive. Let us pledge to keep Mandela’s dream alive, in the way in which we honour the humanity in each other; in the way in which we solve our most difficult problems; and in the way in which we raise up the poor, the downtrodden; and the marginalised.

In this regard, we enter into a solemn covenant with you the people of our country, Africa and citizens of the world that we will be true to the values and ideals which Tata stood for and was prepared to pay the supreme prize.

As a family we have no option except to be bound by these values. Let the word go here from hence that we dare not fail! And we know and know too well that you the people of the world will not fail Madiba.

May we also use this opportunity to inform the South African public that our king, The King of the Thembu Nation, Zwelibanzi Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and his delegation is visiting the family today, Sunday 7 December 2013 to comfort and counsel, and to apprise himself of the funeral and burial arrangements.”

Thank you.

BY Lieutenant General (retired)

Temba Templeton Matanzima

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