Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela was a great man whose death reverberated across the rivers, oceans and mountains of South Africa and the world, Cope Youth said on Friday.
“ (The) Congress of the People Youth movement bows to a revered life, well lived by a great man,” secretary general Abel Rangata said in a statement.
“He remains forever in our hearts, as his life, which espoused reconciliation, reconstruction and development, gave the country hope,” he said.
Mandela's death reminded South Africa of the 27 years he spent in prison for the liberation of the oppressed masses.
As South Africa moved towards 20 years of democracy, Mandela's death meant that whenever the youth gathered, they must, in reverence to him and all those who fought for South Africa's freedom, salute Mandela as he was the leader of a great generation.
“Nelson Mandela is history in the person of one man,” said Rangata.
Cope Youth sought to assuage its grief by peering deeply into the good and fulfilling deeds attributed to Mandela.
“We urge the nation to both celebrate the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela and mourn his departure,” said Rangata.
“It may be a difficult thing to achieve, simultaneously to laugh and to cry, both to ride the crest of a joyful wave of the untamed oceans and sink under the fury of the waves.”
South Africa was free today, because Mandela and the likes of Govan Mbeki, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu had refused to succumb to despair.
Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night.