Gift of the Givers Foundation Tribute to Nelson Mandela


06 December 2013

Greetings of Peace

Dear Recipients

It takes a human of saintly stature to forgive and embrace with love a system that incarcerated him for 27 years, that destroyed the lives of countless people within the inner ranks and outside his movement, that caused estrangement and eventually separation in two marriages, that prevented him from being a father to his own children because of the demands and the sacrifices required to achieve freedom, equality and justice.

Not once did he reflect any vindictiveness or hate, nor did he ask for the total replacement of the politicians, the security services or the civil servants involved in the active implementation and perpetuation of the apartheid monstrosity and its vile system of dehumanisation that eroded human liberty, displaced people from their legitimate lands and made them slaves in the land of their birth.

There was no anger, no malice, but there was inclusivity in a shared government even to the point of embracing the notorious security and intelligence services in the personal presidential protection unit. Including segments of the old apartheid anthem into the new, donning the No. 6 jersey of a sport which is reflective of the apartheid elite to the dismay of millions who hated that symbol are examples of his leadership. He showed class, humanity and determination. Never afraid to stand by his principle that all people of South Africa are one nation, that intrinsically man of all cultures, races and religions are good and that love and inclusivity is the solution for a battered, divided and broken nation. We surely can take a leaf out of this.

This is no ordinary man. May his soul be blessed, may he rest in peace and may all the patience and resilience be granted to family and friend alike.

We are all witnesses to the humanity and selfless service of this world icon and salute his humility, kindness and compassion. Go blessedly and peacefully Tata Madiba.

Imtiaz Sooliman