Former president Nelson Mandela is approaching the end of his long walk to freedom, fellow former president FW De Klerk has said.
“On his birthday, we should commemorate the remarkable contribution that he has made to South Africa and to all its people,” he said today.
“Today should be a time for quiet and respectful contemplation, and not for unseemly squabbling over the ownership of Mr Mandela’s heritage.”
Mandela remained in hospital today, which is his 95th birthday.
De Klerk said that despite Mandela being a loyal and stalwart ANC member, all South Africans could proudly call him their own.
He praised Mandela’s role in national reconciliation and the emergence of a democratic nation.
“Nelson Mandela’s place in South Africa’s history is assured. His legacy of courage, perseverance and magnanimity will continue to inspire us – and people throughout the world – for generations to come.”
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