Huldeblyk aan oud-president Nelson Mandela

2013-12-09
Wouter Wessels

“Honourable Speaker, no words can accurately describe the immense role former president Nelson Mandela played; nor the impact he had on not only black people, but also on white people; nor his character and his personality.

South Africa and the rest of the world mourn the passing away of not only a great leader, but also a remarkable human being.

Ek spreek namens die VF Plus my innige simpatie uit met Mnr Mandela se vrou en familie. 

Mnr Mandela het merkwaardige nederigheid en vriendelikheid getoon.  Hy was vergewensgesind en het ons geleer om ten spyte van onreg en moeilike omstandighede nie bitter te word nie.

Hy het ‘n sterk teenwoordigheid gehad, iemand wat lewenserns en charisma met ‘n sin vir humor en nederigheid kon kombineer.  Hy het ‘n outokratiese trek gehad.  ‘n Harde politikus.  Maar sy optrede het altyd gepaardgegaan met hoflikheid en goeie maniere.  Hy het die respek van almal, insluitend sy opponente verwerf.

Mnr Mandela was nie skaam om sy foute te erken nie.  Ek het ongelooflik baie respek vir hierdie eerlikheid wat by baie van ons as politici maklik ontbreek. 

Ek dink oud-President Mandela sou vandag beswaar gemaak het teen die wyse waarop daar van hom ‘n ikoon en ‘n bo-menslike wese gemaak word.  Hy was baie gesteld daarop om altyd daarop te wys dat hy deel van ‘n span was en nie alleen opgetree het nie.

Met dit in ag geneem, kan niemand egter die impak wat mnr Mandela op Suid-Afrika en die hele wêreld gehad het, ontken nie.

Sy gewildheid het grootliks gelê in sy menslike aanslag op persoonlike vlak.  Hy het ‘n ongelooflike aanvoeling vir die klein dingetjies gehad, wat groot impak op mense gehad het.

Speaker, it is given to very few people to see them realize their dreams during their lifetime.  Mr Mandela succeeded in doing this.  Against the most colossal odds he had realized the vision he had as a young man. 

He did not calculatingly strive to obtain mere popularity.    He was not a populist leader and yet he was popular beyond comprehension.   A true leader is someone who is prepared to go against the majority and the popular because he knows that they are wrong and he should give guidance.   An example of this was when Mr Mandela strictly reprimanded a crowd of more than 40 000 people at a gathering at a stadium when they did not sing the Afrikaans part of the National Anthem.

One person with a dream, at the right place, at the right time and with the right approach can make a huge difference.  Mr Mandela was such a person.

What was Mr Mandela’s dream for South Africa?

On 20 April 1964 he addressed the court during the Rivonia trials.  He closed his address with the following which best describes his dream:  “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.  I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Today we bring tribute to this great leader and we celebrate his life.  But it is also today that we realise that in order to honour his legacy we need to do introspection.  The legacy of Tata Madiba – the continuation of his dream and his vision lies with each one of us.  The future is in our hands.  Are we truly honouring his legacy – are we still enacting the ideal of a truly democratic and free society?  My observation is that we are repeating some of the mistakes from the past.

Mr Mandela concluded his statement at his inauguration as the first democratically elected president with: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another …”

Mag ons hierdie woorde onthou, mag ons hierdie woorde leef en daarna streef.

Die stryd vir ‘n beter Suid-Afrika duur voort.

Rus sag, Tata Madiba!”

 

WOUTER WESSELS, LPW

Sel : 082 674 6670