Mandela one of the greatest: Mantashe

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iol news pic MANDELA-Mthatha


A crowd attends an African National Congress (ANC) organised memorial service for the late former South African President Nelson Mandela in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Mthatha - Nelson Mandela's life should be celebrated because he was one of the world’s greatest icons, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

“There is a man who was blessed to have a life of 95 years, and that life must be celebrated. The fact that he gave that life to fight for freedom of his people is cause for more celebration,” Mantashe said at a memorial service for the former president in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

The service was held at a hall at the King Sabata Dalindyebo FET College. Banners, flags and shirts with pictures of Mandela’s face adorned the packed venue.

Mantashe said Thursday was the seventh day since Mandela died, and reminded his audience that Mandela knew there was life after death.

Mandela was not an icon from a vacuum, but was shaped by the African National Congress, as he shaped the ruling party.

“The ANC was shaped by Mandela 1/8and other leaders 3/8 and in the same process the ANC was shaping them.”

People should not fear Mandela's death because many other leaders were formed and shaped in the same way.

“Mandela had done a lot and you will continue to see his fingerprints,” he said.

Mandela died on Thursday night in his Houghton home in Johannesburg. He will be buried in his hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.


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