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Remarks by His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, on the Occasion of the Memorial Service of Comrade Nelson Mandela

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Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia

Nelson Mandela

Photo: Hifikepunye_Pohamba_2_crop-1204x887.jpg
Photo: Nelson_Mandela,_2000_(2).jpg

10 December 2013, Johannesburg (*Check Against Delivery)

Today, we are gathered here as one human family, united by a son of the African soil. An icon of the anti-apartheid struggle and a towering giant who gave his life to serve humanity.

Because he was selfless, he sacrificed his life for the dignity of others. Because he believed in the worth of every human being, he personified humility. And because he believed in one united South Africa, he chose forgiveness over retribution, reconciliation over vengeance.

Yes, Madiba was South African, but to us in Namibia he was a reliable comrade in arms, a senior brother to those Namibian compatriots, who served with him at the notorious Robben Island prison, some of whom are here with us today. He was an inspiration to the people of Namibia in our struggle for freedom and independence.

We remember vividly the prominent leadership role he played in the integration of Walvis Bay into independent Namibia.

Madiba was a symbol of fundamental human rights, freedom, peace and justice not only for the people of South Africa, but for humanity as a whole. The most fitting tribute to Comrade Mandela is to celebrate his life and work for the fulfillment of the ideals he sacrificed for.

To our brothers and sisters of South Africa with whom we shared trenches in the common struggle against apartheid colonialism, we say, let us continue to stand together in the second phase of the struggle for economic and social emancipation for all our people, guided by the principles of democracy, equality and justice.

To the bereaved family, we wish you strength and we thank you for sharing this extra- ordinary human being with us.

He was a unique and special gift to the world whose legacy will live forever.

May the soul of Comrade Nelson Mandela rest in eternal peace.

Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia

Nelson Mandela

Photo: Hifikepunye_Pohamba_2_crop-1204x887.jpg
Photo: Nelson_Mandela,_2000_(2).jpg