Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela has left a rich heritage, the National Heritage Council of SA (NHC) said on Friday.
“The NHC joins the world in mourning the passing away of the global icon from Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,” it said in a statement.
“As I know him, president Mandela would have said that we must celebrate that which he lived for, rather than to mourn his death,” said CEO Sonwabile Mancotywa.
He said he found it difficult to accept Mandela's death, especially as he had served as an MEC during Mandela's term as president.
“I can imagine how painful it may be for the family. Our sincere condolences go to all the family members, the Mandela clan... and the nation,” he said.
The NHC had acknowledged Mandela's legacy by awarding him the highest Ubuntu honour in 2006.
Today, it was important to celebrate what he had taught South Africa about the values of universal humanity, which South Africans knew as Ubuntu.
“We also celebrate Mandela through enlisting the significant liberation sites that will become part of heritage sites recognised by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO,” the NHC said.
Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night.