Africa indebted to Mandela: Ethiopia PM

Africa
December 15 Mandela’s life represented the promise of a better future, says Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

QUNU - Africa is indebted to former president Nelson Mandela for the sacrifices he made, Ethiopian Prime Minister and African Union chairman Hailemariam Desalegn said on Sunday.

"It is altogether fitting that the entire world pays tribute and bids farewell to this iconic leader and champion of the ideals of justice and liberty," he told mourners at Mandela's state funeral in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

He said Mandela held a special place in Ethiopian and African hearts, as he represented the oppression and injustice the continent had to endure from colonisers and their like.

"This moment is even more poignant for Africa... Mandela's life had been [full of the] trials and tribulations [facing the] entire continent. His life was a struggle against unparalleled odds... a life of perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

"As a true leader of authentic personification of the ANC, Mandela's life represented what was promising about the continent's future, if we fight injustice..." Desalegn said.

"If we remain committed to the ideals of justice, liberation and above all the sanctity of human dignity, we can ultimately prevail over evil, no matter how stacked the odds are against us."

Humanity was better off because it had the good fortune of having had Mandela as a source of wisdom and as its torch bearer in times of utter darkness.

"What we are doing today is not so much mourning the passing of an icon...[but] as a celebration of humanity at its finest," he said.

"We should all count ourselves lucky to draw a lesson or two from the life of this towering figure."

Mandela died at his Houghton home in Johannesburg last Thursday. He was 95. A memorial service was held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday. His body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from Wednesday to Friday and was viewed by about 100,000 people.

His body was taken to the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

-Sapa

COMMENTS



LATEST STORIES

The Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 1,500 people across west Africa spread to a fifth country on Friday, with Senegal confirming its first case of the deadly virus.
Opposition presidential candidate Marina Silva says Brazil's recession is worrying and - if elected - her government would work to restore the economy.
EFF leader Julius Malema has called on National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete not to push the party to shut down Parliament.

TOP STORIES view all

Numsa on Friday said it condemned the ANC's attacks on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
As most of the country battles the cold weather, snow has been falling in various parts of the Eatern Cape, forcing road closures.
South Africans are set for a petrol pump reprieve after it was announced that petrol, diesel, illuminating paraffin and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are set to drop in price.

NEWS STREAMcloseview all

This is the overlay

eNCA Subscriptions

Close