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Selfless Mandela was father to South Africa – Zuma


Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma has praised Nelson Mandela for trading his personal comfort for the freedom of South Africans.

At a memorial service at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg Mr. Zuma said Nelson Mandela would be remembered for his selflessness.

Zuma who had to weather the boos and chants from the thousands of fans gathered at the stadium said Mandela was not only called the father of South Africa just for the sake of it.

“We do not call Madiba the father of our rainbow nation merely for political correctness or relevance.

“We do so because he laid the firm foundation for the South Africa of our dreams. One that is united, non-racial non-sexist, democratic and prosperous. “We do because Madiba, once a courageous leader; courageous leaders are able to abandon their narrow concerns for bigger and all-embracing dreams even if those dreams come at a huge cost.

“Madiba embodied this trait,” he touted.

Describing Mandela as “fearless freedom fighter” Zuma commended Mandela for resisting the Apartheid system of government.

The memorial service was one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years.

US President Barack Obama who led a delegation of ex- Presidents said Mr. Mandela achievements must inspire Africa to greatness.

He said the youth around the world can and must emulate the good example of Nelson Mandela to spur them on to greatness.

“Thirty years ago while still a student, I learnt of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land and its spurred something in me and woke me up to my responsibilities and to others and to myself and it set me out on an improbable journey that finds me here today,” he said.

The service was attended by many World leaders, past and present including Ghana’s John Mahama.

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