Pretoria - Leaders have lost their way and forgotten what former president Nelson Mandela taught them, former trade unionist Jay Naidoo said on Wednesday.
“You have to talk to the poorest of the poor, and that's how we have lost our way,” he said at the Fountains Valley park-and-ride in Groenkloof, Pretoria.
Naidoo and suspended Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi were among a large crowd queuing for transport to the Union Buildings where Mandela is lying in state.
The two interacted with people and encouraged them to be role models.
“You have to stand in queues and talk to people. Madiba was a man of the people and fought for social justice and not for limousines and blue lights,” said Naidoo.
“We are living in a bubble where we forget where people are.”
It was not only government that had forgotten what Mandela fought for, but trade unions and business too.
Naidoo said Mandela had put the people above their leaders. This had changed with time, as leaders now lived in “ivory towers”.
Mourning over Mandela's death was helping people to reconnect with each other.
Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night at the age of 95.
Buses were moving swiftly from the Fountains Valley park-and-ride to the Union Buildings. Several buses had already left.
Around 1000 people were lined up, and vendors were selling ice-cream and other treats.
A selection of pap with chicken or meat was also on offer, and was being prepared metres away from the queue.