'A giant has gone to rest:' Pohamba

06 Dec 2013 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 06 DEC (NAMPA) – “A giant has gone to rest, the icon of the apartheid struggle has departed after accomplishing what he stood for”.
These were the words of President Hifikepunye Pohamba as he signed a book of condolences opened in honour of South Africa's former President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who passed away on Thursday evening.
Pohamba was the first person to sign the book of condolences at the South African High Commission in Windhoek on Friday morning.
The sombre-looking Head of State said Madiba, the clan name which Mandela was affectionately known by, will be missed not only by those who knew him and the people of South Africa whom he loved and cared for so deeply, but by all those who believe in human dignity.
Mandela will be remembered for his selflessness and humility, said Pohamba, adding that he will continue to admire his leadership, vision, caring nature and commitment to fighting injustice, notwithstanding the challenges he was confronted with.
To Namibians, Mandela remains a hero, whose legacy will be treasured by millions.
“We remember with gratification when Madiba graced our independence celebrations with his towering presence at the midnight hour of 21 March 1990,” the Head of State said.
He added that Mandela shaped and consolidated the unshakable bond of friendship between Namibia and South Africa, adding that he will remain in Namibians’ hearts as a great human being and an extraordinary leader.
On behalf of the government and people of Namibia, Pohamba expressed condolences and sympathy to the government of South Africa, Mandela’s widow Grace Machel, his former wife Winnie Mandela, his family members and all the people of South Africa.
The icon of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle and colossus of 20th century politics died late on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg, surrounded by friends and family.
Mandela, 95, had waged a long battle against lung infection.
President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela's death in a live late-night broadcast on Thursday.