'Mandela Was Africa’s Fatherly Figure' – Zimbabweans

Cape Town, December 07, 2013 – Zimbabweans have expressed their sadness over the death of former president Nelson Mandela, saying the struggle icon was “not just a South African leader, but one for the continent as a whole”, a report says.

SABC said Mandela only visited Zimbabwe three times after his release from prison, but continued to inspire the people of that country.

Mandela, died on Thursday 5 December at his Houghton house in Johannesburg.

Some Zimbabweans said had it not been for Mandels’s incomparable will to forgive and reconcile as well as his unyielding resolve, South Africa could have been “a harsh place to live”, adding he was  Africa’s fatherly figure, the report said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sent his condolences to South Africa and Nelson Mandela’s family through a letter to President Jacob Zuma, SAPA reported.

Ties between Zimbabwe and SA

“I would like to extend deep condolences to you and, through you to the government and people of the Republic of South Africa, on the death of the great icon of African liberation, freedom fighter and the first president of a free, independent and democratic South Africa, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,” he wrote.

“Not only was he a great champion of the emancipation of the oppressed, but he also was a humble and compassionate leader who showed selfless dedication to the service of his people.”

Ties between Zimbabwe and South Africa run “long and deep” and after independence in 1980, Zimbabwe hosted South African liberation fighters and supported its struggle against apartheid.

Former Zimbabwean prime minister and main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai also expressed his condolences, urging  Africa to uphold legacy, saying the continent “should continue to produce more Mandelas”.

Source: Zimbabwe Mail