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Ahmed Kathrada: “While We May be Drowned in Sorrow and Grief, We Must be Proud and Grateful”

Ahmed Kathrada, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Khaya Dlanga have paid tribute to former President Nelson Mandela, who passed away last night at the age of 95.

Kathrada writes in the Daily Maverick that he and Mandela had known each other for 67 years and that he never imagined he would bear witness to his passing. “I feel bereft and lonely. To whom do I turn for solace, comfort, and advice?” Kathrada writes. “While we may be drowned in sorrow and grief, we must be proud and grateful that after the long walk paved with obstacles and suffering, we salute you as a fighter for freedom to the end”.

Madala, as you light-heartedly started calling me some years ago, it both grieves me and inspires me to write this to you now, with the hour of your death still a fresh wound in our peoples’ hearts.

We have known each other for 67 years, and I never imagined I’d be witness to the unavoidable and traumatic reality of your passing.

MandelaTutuIn My Arrogant Opinion

“I can’t believe it – but, yes, it’s true. Madiba, who blessed us and the world so richly, is no more,” Tutu writes on the Mail & Guardian’s tribute site for Mandela. He writes about Mandela’s political life, the time he spent on Robben Island and how it changed his views. Tutu also shares anecdotes from their friendship: “His retort to my criticism of his taste in gaudy shirts was: ‘It’s pretty thick coming from a man who wears a dress in public’.”

“Our world is a better place for having had a Nelson Mandela, and we in South Africa are that bit better. How wonderful if his successors were to emulate him and if we were to value the great gift of freedom he won for us at the price of so much suffering,” Tutu writes.

Former president Nelson Mandela’s presence has left the world and South Africa a little better, writes Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

I can’t believe it – but, yes, it’s true. Madiba, who blessed us and the world so richly, is no more.

It seemed as if he had always been with us. Although he really only strode the world as a moral colossus after 1994, when he became president of South Africa, his stature had begun to grow while he was on Robben Island, when he became the most famous political prisoner of his time and inspired many to support the Free Mandela Campaign.

Tutu has also shared a prayer for Mandela’s family and the nation, reports News24. “Certainly, he was exceptional, but the spirit of greatness that he personified resides in all of us. Human beings are made for greatness,” Tutu says.

Anglican archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu extended his thanks to the Mandela family on Thursday for sharing former president Nelson Mandela with South Africa and the world.

“To Tata Mandela’s beloved wife Graca Machel, his former wife Winnie Madikizela, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren… we express our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your… patriarch,” he said in a statement issued by his foundation.

Khaya Dlanga, author of In My Arrogant Opinion, took to his medium of choice, Twitter, to pay tribute:

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