Mr Speaker, Deputy President and members of the Mandela and Sisulu families, there are many sorrows in life, and one of the greatest sorrows that South Africans and the international citizenry would not like to endure, is the sorrow of Madiba's passing away. As we continue to experience emotional pain and sorrow, the MF is deeply saddened, particularly because of the close and long friendship between Madiba and Rajbansi.
When I met Madiba I was humbled by his spirit of humility when he said:
I have personally come to thank Amichand, as he is called "the Tiger", for his contribution to South Africa's politics.
It is an undisputed fact that Madiba's honour was derived from fighting for his people and putting his country first. On behalf of the MF, I convey heartfelt condolences and messages of strength, courage and fortitude to the Madiba family and friends. Further, in the presence of the Madiba family here today, I want to acknowledge all that Madiba did for each and everyone here in so many different ways, unfailingly and uncompromisingly.
Mr Deputy President, your elevation under the guiding light of Madiba's teachings, and therefore your emulation, is an honour with merit of its own. You bring comfort and confidence to the nation in this time of bereavement. Our sincerest sympathy also goes out to the ANC for the loss of a world icon who is an irreplaceable, impeccable and remarkable leader and father of our democracy. The relationship between India and South Africa was cemented because of the unique calibre of Madiba and Gandhi. Madiba's in-depth knowledge, indescribable determination and immeasurable sacrifices delivered us all from the horrific apartheid regime.
President Mandela's preparedness to forgive, even after 27 years of incarceration and after the murder of the renowned leader Chris Hani, diffused a potentially explosive situation in the country. The fearless and courageous anti-apartheid activist and freedom fighter said:
South Africans must recall the terrible past so that we can deal with it, forgiving where forgiveness is necessary but never forgetting.
As the isiZulu proverb so accurately says: Umuntu umuntu ngabantu. [I am because you are.] This means we are who we are because of other people. This Parliament in its current form, yes, indeed, has come about precisely as a result of his 27 years on Robben Island. From humble beginnings as a prisoner he was elevated to the highest office of the land, after decades of white minority rule, and subsequently revered as the architect of peace and reconciliation. He touched the hearts of millions, black and white, with his warm and caring personality, especially the children and the youth, ensuring peace and justice for all.
To Madiba's family we express sincere gratitude for giving us Tata, who made unbelievable and incredible sacrifices for the freedom of our country and the easing of the sufferings of the broad masses at grassroots.
To Tata Madiba: You ran a good race. Yes, indeed, you leave behind a legacy infused with honesty, integrity, dignity and above all tenacity. The Lord has blessed some people to walk the path of sufferings on this earth, and Madiba was one of the chosen ones that changed those sufferings into the freedom that we all so profoundly enjoy today.
I want to echo his sentiments:
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
Akekho ofana nawe, Tata Madiba. Lala ngoxolo. [Tata Madiba, you are incomparable. May your soul rest in peace.]
May peace be upon Tata Madiba until the grace of Almighty God. May his soul rest in peace in the high heavens. Long live the spirit of Tata Madiba. Long live the spirit of Rolihlahla Mandela. Long live the spirit of Tata Rolihlahla Mandela, the one and only father of democracy. Long live! [Applause.]