Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela and his peers served South Africans with diligence, humility and selflessness, the African National Congress Women's League said on Friday.
“His unrelenting and unshakeable pursuit of the vision of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist society was the oil that fuelled the struggles of the people of South Africa and elsewhere... as they knew that their freedom was intricately and inextricably linked to his,” ANCWL president Angie Motshekga said in a statement.
The ANCWL sent its condolences to Mandela's family.
“May you be consoled by the knowledge that your pain is shared, never in equal measure, but as sincerely by the world at large.”
Motshekga said women in South Africa and around the world owed Mandela and his generation an immeasurable debt of gratitude.
“We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to Tata Mandela and his generation, including among them luminaries such as Mama (Albertina) Sisulu, Mama (Lilian) Ngoyi and Comrade Helen Joseph, for their commitment to the cause of the empowerment and emancipation of women.”
She said during anti-apartheid activist Walter Sisulu's 90th birthday in 2002 Mandela stated: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Mandela died on Thursday night at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, at the age of 95. - Sapa