Mandela embodied leadership, resilience and vision – Kagame

The legacy of departed South African liberation hero Nelson Mandela goes beyond his country and the African continent, President Kagame has said.
President Kagame pays last respects to Mandela at the Union Building in Pretoria yesterday.   The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame pays last respects to Mandela at the Union Building in Pretoria yesterday. The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.

The legacy of departed South African liberation hero Nelson Mandela goes beyond his country and the African continent, President Kagame has said.

The President was yesterday address journalists after viewing the body of the anti-apartheid icon at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa.

“It is a moment that I needed to take, to pay my last respects to President Mandela. The history of President Mandela speaks for itself in the context of the struggle of the people of South Africa, the people of the continent and beyond,” he said.

President Kagame described Mandela’s legacy as one that should serve as an example for all.

“What Mandela symbolises is not just African. It goes beyond Africa. On the continent and beyond, there are lessons to learn from what the President, the man and the leader went through in his many years of life.”

The body of the revered former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has since Tuesday been lying in state at the Union Buildings, the seat of government, before it is transported to Qunu, Mandela’s ancestral home, for tomorrow’s burial.

In an earlier tribute that appeared in The Time, Kagame described Mandela as a politician who never ceased working toward the greater good.

“He never stopped striving towards concrete political ends; never missed a chance to plead his case or cause; never wavered from the struggle. To point out that Nelson Mandela was, above all, a politician is not to diminish his remarkable legacy, but rather to remind the world that politicians are capable of remarkable things,” Kagame wrote.

“There is no doubting Mandela’s virtues as a moral exemplar and inspirational figure. There is no modern leader who has done more to deserve the waves of praise and mourning that his passing has unleashed,” the tribute in The Time added.

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