Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has expressed his country’s gratitude to member countries of the African Union (AU) for standing by the South African people during their struggle for majority rule and the death of the nation’s founding father, Nelson Mandela.
“Madiba (Mandela) was a global icon and a product of the struggle for decolonisation. He knew and experienced the unity of Africa when the African National Congress (ANC) sent him out to prepare a new phase of our liberation struggle,” President Zuma told African leaders as they started the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly.
When Madiba was incarcerated on Robben Island, President Zuma recalled that many African countries “kept the fire burning” from various capitals, including Lusaka in Zambia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, for the release of Mandela.
“Madiba has left us a legacy that we must keep alive for generations to come. He was inspired by a dream of a better life for all people,” he added.