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South African Embassy, Berlin
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Tel.: +49-30-22073-0
Fax: +49-30-22073-190

Topnews, Press

06. December 2013

Media Briefing: Passing Away of Former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela by Ambassador Stofile

nelson rolihlahla mandela

6 December 2013, South African Embassy in Berlin. The passing away of the Founding President of our democracy is a critical national and international event that induces large-scale mourning and celebration of the life of an extraordinary national leader and global icon.

Today we reflect on the loss of a great patriot and international icon, who was the very essence of ubuntu and was a key player in the victorious struggle against apartheid. Madiba was a great, fearless and compassionate leader whose resilience and charisma made an impact on millions throughout his life.

He cannot be replaced in person but his legacy of selfless and principled dedication to equality and justice lives on in South Africa. The gains of almost  20 years of freedom are a monument to Nelson Mandela and those who fought alongside him for a non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.

Government is working closely with the Mandela family to ensure that the planned State Funeral reflects the nation’s highest regard for the Founding President. The official mourning period and the State Funeral is an opportunity for all South Africans and the international community to mourn the loss we all feel – and to celebrate Madiba’s extraordinary life and contribution to all of humanity.

Details of preparations for the State Funeral will be communicated daily throughout the coming period to ensure that South Africans and visitors to our country are able to participate in memorial events in an orderly, secure way.

Government and South Africa is humbled by the tributes that have streamed in from governments, global institutions, civil society and millions of individuals around the world. We acknowledge the numerous calls and messages from Germany of condolence and support which have already been received. We hope that as we revisit his lifelong contribution to humanity, we will also use this reflection to recommit ourselves to the values and practices he stood for.

Our thoughts are with Mrs Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family today as they mourn the loss of a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who meant a great deal to his family, his nation and the world.

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