Durban - Former president Nelson Mandela left his mark in KwaZulu-Natal as many critical phases of his life played out in the province, the ANC in the province said on Friday.
Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said: “The inspirational story of Mandela’s journey to freedom cannot be told without the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where some of the most notable events in his life unfolded.”
In a statement, he pointed to the fact that it was near the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands town of Howick that Mandela was arrested in 1962.
“On August 5, 1962, Mandela’s last day of freedom before his 27 years of incarceration is remembered as having changed the course of the struggle against apartheid.”
Zikalala said that prior to his arrest, Mandela had left the country to receive military training in Algeria.
He returned to the province to speak to then African National Congress president Albert Luthuli about the operations of the movement's military wing Umkhonto weSizwe.
Shortly before his arrest, Mandela addressed a meeting in Pietermaritzburg's Imbali township.
Zikalala said Mandela had left “indelible footprints in the political landscape of KwaZulu-Natal”.
He conveyed the province's condolences to the Mandela family, all South Africans, and people across the world.
“May his magnificent soul rest in peace and we pray that God almighty will comfort and console his family.”
President Jacob Zuma announced that Mandela died on Thursday night at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by family. He was 95. - Sapa