As dawn lifted on South Africa today, the country woke up to the saddening news that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela had passed away! Since his hospitalisation earlier this year, many have been expecting the inevitable, but nobody could have fathomed the great loss we now feel and face today. The President,
Karthi Moothsamy, his Executive Council, Trustees and National Councillors of the South African Tamil Federation, together with its affiliates in the Eastern and Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, convey our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family on the heartbreaking passing away of a sterling and revered gentleman, who was not only the founding father of our nation, but an iconic and inspirational figure to the world! He was always considered with great respect, a fatherly advisory and a highly significant contributor to the development of our Rainbow Nation!
During our paralyzing political turbulence, Mandela essentially did the only thing necessary for our political freedom; he took an unprecedented humanitarian stand against all odds and adversaries. Following that he moved forward demonstrating an immense capacity of forgiveness, restoration and renewal, uniting and leading us into a brighter future, for which we will forever be indebted, be comforted and will be celebrating the legacy he has now left behind!
Mandela’s greatest achievement is not the “long walk to freedom”, but rather the way in which he walked it, demonstrating compassion, humility and especially, being the greatest humanitarian in our lifetime! He exemplified a sense of unity and strength by inviting us on the walk with him! We, therefore, invite the people of our country to emulate his unique leadership, tolerance and selflessness in order to ensure that his legacy lives on and to contribute to our development, sustaining the progressive improvement and advancement of our communities and our country!
We strongly believe that the spirit of the deceased will always survive in the memories of the living and we surrender that all who had crossed the path of the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, during his lifetime, will undoubtedly miss him, and we pray to “Almighty God” to grant the bereaved family, friends, colleagues and the entire country all the courage, strength, fortitude and peace to overcome their irreplaceable loss.
“The lotus flower rises to the level of water, the greatness of men rise with mental strength!”
Thiruvalluvar, South Indian Poet and Philosopher
As we mourn the passing away of one of the most profound personalities in our lifetime, let us not belabour our differences, our weaknesses, our cultural diversities or status in society, but collectively celebrate what unites us as a nation – our Past, our Present and our Future! Nkosi Sikeleli South Africa!