EDITOR — Fraternal greetings and condolences from the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) to the African National Congress (ANC) and the people of South Africa on the occasion of the passing away of former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
We learnt of the passing on of Comrade Nelson Mandela with the deepest sorrow and grief.
Comrade Mandela, who will forever carry the revolutionary identity of president of the ANC (after Tambo) and founding president of post-apartheid South Africa, is rightly recognised as an icon for struggling peoples and those committed to ensuring human dignity and the attainment and protection of human rights and democracy globally.
To us in Zapu he was however, not only a symbol of struggle, but in our direct line of command when he and our Comrade Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo were the soul of the joint operations of the ZPRA-Mkonto (MK) Alliance forces that fought on Zimbabwean soil in 1967 and 1968.
We are therefore lamenting not only a great South African, an African source of inspiration and pride, a world icon, but also one of our own who led by example.
Those of us who were old enough to take up arms did so in no small measure because of the unflinching determination he demonstrated during their Rivonia trial for seeking to overthrow the apartheid regime, stating openly in Court:
“During my lifetime, I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.
Please convey to the ANC and the people of South Africa the condolences of Zapu as we join you in mourning the passing away of Comrade Nelson Mandela and celebrate his life of struggle.
D. DABENGWA (Dr.),