KZNCC Tribute to Mandela
Our heartfelt condolences go to the Mandela family. Be assured of our constant support and prayers.
WE have moved into a ten day mourning period as a nation. The outpouring of love, respect and condolences is staggering. Why has such a man moved an entire country, continent and world in such a profound way? It is because in this man we have seen that another world is possible. Through his core values of unshakeable commitment to non-racialism; non-sexism; justness; compassion; forgiveness, and pragmatism we have seen incarnate glimpses of what every sane human on earth desires.
The mark of greatness is not perfection, but the acknowledgement of one’s weakness, limitations and being prepared to own up to and confess one’s faults. These are the marks of our former President Nelson R Mandela who has become for us in his twilight years the elderly statesman and parent figure.
There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. We are all shaped by others and our environment for better or worse. The central tenant of Ubuntu is that we are because of others. Mr Mandela would be the first to say I am part of a collective. He was a true democrat. In the early years he was shaped by both traditional and Wesleyan values, a certificate dating back to his early childhood of his attendance at Sunday School attests to this. He attended Methodist schools like Healdtown etc.
Then there was the liberation movement the African National Congress that became a major influence in his entire life for decades He ensured that non-racialism was kept alive by embracing both those who were Indian, coloured and white as part of the struggle. Many would have called him a ‘sell-out’ because of this core value.
If we say we will never have another leader who embraces these values then Mandela, Sisulu and Tambo’s work would have been in vein. Such an observation would be disingenuous. There are many people among us who aspire to these values. Look carefully at our young people as they emerge as non-racialists and non-sexists human beings, especially those who have not yet been tainted by the neo-apartheid influences of their parents. This is the living legacy that Tata Mandela leaves with us. We celebrate a life well lived in spite of oppression and imprisonment. May we go into the streets and tell the stories of Mandela warts and all. For at the end of the day he was human like the rest of us and here in lies our hope.
Peace & Grace
Bishop Mike Vorster 1