Zuma salutes Mandela

Qunu, South Africa (PANA) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Sunday saluted his old struggle comrade Nelson Mandela, saying he has left a lasting legacy for the world.

Addressing Mandela’s state funeral in Qunu, President Zuma said the event marked “the end of 95 glorious years”.

"We are truly honoured to be part of this final journey of the great son of this country," PANA quoted him as saying.

President Zuma paid tribute to Mandela's first wife Evelyn Mase, who died in 2004, for raising their children under difficult conditions.

He also saluted former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for keeping his name alive during his lengthy incarceration and there was also a glowing tribute to his widow Graca Machel for being at his side until he breathed his last on 5 Dec.

President Zuma acknowledged that it has been a long painful week as the world came to terms with its loss.

"You were indeed an extraordinary human being, you will remain our guiding light, illuminating the path as we continue the long journey to build the South Africa of your dreams. You live for ever in our hearts and minds," he added.

Earlier, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said Mandela and Tanzania's first president Julius Nyerere built a powerful friendship which has seen both nations flourish.

"That is why your sadness, grief and sorrow are ours as well. That is why we also join you in celebrating the life of this great man," President Kikwete said.

He added that when Mandela visited Dar es Salaam after his release from prison, he was greeted by massive crowds.

And 89-year-old former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, a close friend of Mandela, said his passing leaves a giant void.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 15Dec2013

15 december 2013 09:44:57

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