Madam Jeanette Thokozile Ndhlovu, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Ghana on Friday paid glowing tribute to former President Nelson Mandela, the country’s Founding President and anti-apartheid icon, who died yesterday at the age of 95.
She said: “Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) was a symbol of hope, dignity, reconciliation and peace. He championed the struggle for human emancipation, equality and non-racial discrimination. South Africa had lost a great patriot and the world had lost an icon.”
Madam Ndhlovu who was addressing a press conference in Accra on Madiba’s death; noted that he was a fearless and compassionate leader whose resilience and charisma made an impact on millions throughout his life.
She said: “Although we are privileged to claim him as the Father of our Nation; his legacy had gone beyond the borders of our continent to rest of the world. He believed and fought for a free, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist society.”
“Madiba passed on at around 20:50 South African time at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg surrounded by his family and loved ones. We the people of South Africa are mourning his passing but at the same time are celebrating his life.”
The High Commissioner said Madiba dedicated his entire life not only to the people of South Africa but to the rest of the continent and the world.
She announced that a service of national mourning would be held on Tuesday, December 10, at the First National Bank Stadium in Johannesburg.
She said the mortal remains of Madiba would be laid in state from the December 11 to 13, at the Union Building in the national capital, Pretoria.
Madam Ndhlovu said Madiba’s last day on earth would be on Sunday December 15 when his mortal remains would be taken to the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up for his the final funeral rites.
She said Madiba’s book of condolence had been opened at the High Commission for dignitaries to sign between 10.00 and 15.00 hours.
The High Commissioner said further information might be obtained from the following contacts: 024 432 5893, 0244 343 231 and 0244 326 185. GNA