Hon Speaker and Chairperson, let us first thank God for giving us this great leader. Yes, we must be thankful that God lent us this great leader for 95 years - Comrade President Nelson Mandela.
I can say without any doubt that, were it not for Nelson Mandela, this country could have gone up in flames. It is because of Nelson Mandela's wisdom that we sit here in Parliament as fellow South African, black and white. Nelson Mandela saved this country from a blood bath. Yes, who can forget when one of our outstanding great leaders, Comrade Chris Hani, was brutally killed by evil forces? It was Nelson Mandela who said to us, the solution to the problems of our country won't come through the barrel of a gun, but through talking to each other. Yes, Nelson Mandela calmed all of us. Some of us were very hot-headed and wanted to fight and avenge the killing of Comrade Chris Hani. We were very angry. Were it not for Nelson Mandela, thousands could have been killed, black and white. Yet, here we sit together as one nation because of him.
Fellow South Africans, what is it that we can do to preserve his legacy? I believe Comrade Mandela left us with a precious treasure that nobody can take away from us, and that is our Constitution. That is what Nelson Mandela lived for and struggled for. Let me remind you: this Constitution was signed by this great hero, Nelson Mandela. If we respect this Constitution like he did, we will always live in peace and harmony in this country.
Yes, when thousands of us were locked up in the prisons of this country, our hope was pinned on our leaders on the island, led by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Yet we knew that he was also behind bars and serving a life sentence, but we were always singing a song, Rolihlahla Mandela, freedom is in your hands. Show us the way to freedom, in our land South Africa.
I want to ask permission to sing one verse. [Interjections.]
Rolihlahla Mandela, freedom is in your hands. Show us the way to freedom, in our land South Africa.
On behalf of Cope and the Bloem family, we say to Madiba:
Robala ka kgotso, Ntate. [Rest in peace, Father.]
Mooiloop, groot leier! [Go well, great leader!]
Till we meet again, grandfather. We salute you, our commander-in-chief.