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Rhodes honours Mandela's legacy

Date Released: Mon, 9 December 2013 11:00 +0200

DOZENS of people gathered on Rhodes University's Drostdy lawns in Grahamstown yesterday (Friday, 6 December) to sing and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

While the gathering was planned by the university just hours beforehand, many people from the little city spontaneously joined the clergy, students, academics and other Rhodes staff on the green lawns in front of the administration block to grieve, to sing and to celebrate South Africa's iconic leader.

Flags flew at half-mast at every public institution and school in the city and the bells from Grahamstown's Cathedral of St Michael and St George pealed to recognise a man Rhodes University vice-chancellor Dr Saleem Badat described as a giant, an irrepressible freedom fighter, revered political leader, statesman, social activist, humanitarian and a champion of learning and education. Looking bowed and sad, Badat warned that there was still a long walk to freedom despite Mandela's efforts. He said too many people in power had forgotten Madiba's counsel that with freedom came responsibility.

"While some are getting rich and fat by and large others continue to struggle for survival." Rhodes' distinguished emeritus professor Paul Maylam said one of Mandela's greatest qualities was his moral authority.

"There was no grandiosity, no pomposity, no opulence. Never indulging in self-aggrandisement, he projected rather his own deep humility. Avoiding political mudslinging, he demonstrated a basic courtesy and decency in everyday interactions." 

By Adrienne Carlisle

Source: Saturday Dispatch

Rhodes Mandela gallery click here 

Source:Saturday Dispatch