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IFP: Statement by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Inkatha Freedom Party president, on Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday (18/07/2010)

18th July 2010

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It is my privilege and great joy to, on behalf of the Inkatha Freedom
Party, express my and my Party's congratulations to former President
Nelson Mandela on his 92nd Birthday. We wish him good health and
comfort as he spends this day at home with his family.

The 18th of July has become a date recognized worldwide and has
somehow become bigger than our friend himself. His legacy has taken on
tremendous proportions and, in his name, the Nelson Mandela Foundation
encourages us all to keep doing the work he is no longer able to do
himself. This is the work of service, selflessness and compassion.

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It seems right somehow that Madiba's magic has taken on a life of its
own even within his lifetime. He has been blessed to see his life's
work accomplished as we stepped into a liberated South Africa and
began the work of building our nation. He has been blessed now, too,
to see Africa in the spotlight of the 2010 World Cup, and South Africa
proudly representing our continent.

The world has changed dramatically in the 92 years since Nelson
Mandela was born. I am of the same generation, and I too have
witnessed the unfolding of history; at times with sadness and concern,
but often with a deep sense of satisfaction. We have achieved a great
deal and we surely can say that we have lived.

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I regret that I am not able to be in Mvezo today to share the
jubilation, but pressing matters within my Party have required that I
be in Ulundi. Nevertheless, the injunction of this celebration, that
we should make every day a Nelson Mandela Day, sets my mind at rest.
For I know that even in the twilight years of my own life, I am living
this principle.

I remain at work in the service of our nation. I remain a champion of
the fight against HIV/Aids. I remain dedicated to development and
upliftment. I remain a servant of my people; the poorest of the poor.
I have shared the struggle with our liberation heroes like Nelson
Rolihlahla Mandela, and I continue to fight the good fight for all our
people.

This is my contribution to our country and, knowing the heart of my
friend the way I do, I know this is a fitting gift to Madiba.

When President Mandela appointed me to his Cabinet in 1994 as the
Minister of Home Affairs, he gave me the task of transforming South
Africa's legislative and policy foundation in terms of migration. My
ten years in that portfolio were dedicated to opening the door to
international tourism, investment and business, while dealing with the
problems of illegal migration. Under my watch, we began to address
xenophobia. The legislation we developed adhered to the highest
standards of human rights' protection.

I am therefore pleased that this day is being dedicated to preventing
xenophobia and assisting asylum seekers and refugees to integrate into
our society. President Mandela and I began this journey together and I
am proud to see Members of Parliament taking up the baton today.

May we instill a new harmony in the hearts and minds of our people.
May we use the unity and camaraderie of the World Cup to impress upon
South Africa our shared humanity. And may we do this in tribute to
Nelson Mandela, in an effort to make every day a Nelson Mandela Day.

I thank you.

 

 

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