Condolences on the Bereavement of a Weltbürger – NELSON ROHIHLALA MANDELA

In his last Testament , the Great Ho Chi Minh wrote: “Tu Fu, the well-known Chinese poet of the of the Tang period (618 – 907)– said:

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´In all time, few are those who reach seventy years or more.” ´This year, being seventy-nine, I count among those “few”.`


Madiba, who topped this figure, did not rest on his laurels. His motto was to look ahead. This is precisely what he told the young Adriaan Verwoerd who apologized for all that Madiba suffered under apartheid.

The great man made a statement that was to have an everlasting impression on the grandson of the architect and enforcer of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd.

Madiba stated: “Young man, let us put the past behind us. Our sight must be set on the future.”

Adriaan Verwoerd was so impressed with this standpoint that he, and his wife Melanie joined the ANC. Apart from being MPs in the South African Parliament, these two carried out other functions on behalf of the Movement internally and internationally. Unfortunately, the example of the young Verwoerds has not reached flood levels, but the foundation has been laid. Let us build on that to honour our “fallen” Hero.

We are personally experiencing the love and respect our Madiba enjoyed in the international community. Since the announcement of his death last night, the telephones in our homes in Berlin have not stopped ringing. The emails are slowly flooding our computers with messages of grief, solidarity and respect.

We three, Joan, Karin & Eric, join the millions of people in expressing our heartfelt sorrows to our Movement, the African National Congress, the entire Mandela family and our thousands of fellow comrades.

We are grateful that Madiba together with his dynamic comrades took over the great ship – African National Congress – which found itself in turbulent waters. With much patience, sweat, dangers and a host of other hazards, plus an abundant supply of determination and confidence, they safely steered this great ship to calmer waters.

Unfortunately, the ship is rolling again. There is nothing more that our leaders like Madiba and those who have departed before him, would have wanted than to stabilise this vessel again.

It can be done and must be done. Therefore, it needs a mighty effort on our part to meet this goal – let us begin to liberate ourselves from ourselves.



A M A N D L A !

ANC Veterans

Joan Oehme (nee Nair)

Eric Singh, and spouse

Karin Singh

Berlin, 6 December, 2013