Message of condolence from President Nelson Mandela on the death of Chief Mphephu

31 December 1997

To: The Secretary
Mphephu Royal Council

Dear Sir,

It is with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness that I have learnt of the untimely and tragic death of Paramount Chief Tshimangadzo Mphephu.

His departure from our midst, at the prime of his life and at a turning point in the renaissance of the African people of our country and continent, has robbed us of one of the most eminent representatives of the generation of traditional leaders who are actively involved in the building of our nation and in the efforts to achieve a better life for all.

Dimbanyika Thoho-ya-Ndou Ramabulana belongs to the lineage of a proud and outstanding ancestry, most powerfully represented by that famous warrior-king and commander, Tshilwavhusiku Ramabulana, whose exploits in defence of our land, our dignity and our very being will forever remain etched in our proud history of resistance to colonialism.

Today we are all proud that, after the period of oppression, repression and humiliation under white minority rule, we can together build on the foundation laid by Tshilwavhusiku and other heroes to build a united nation of free citizens.

Khosi Tshimangadzo Mphephu was a wise, humble and respected leader in the Northern Province and across the length and breadth of our country. We shall always remember him as an outstanding patriot.

On behalf of the government and on my own behalf, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family and to the people of the Great North. Though I will, regrettably, not be able to be with you at the funeral, be assured that I am with you in spirit in this period of mourning.

As he departs to commune with the heroes of yore, we are certain that his message of a people free from oppression and a people building their lives anew, will fill the ancestors' hearts with joy.

May Dimbanyika's majestic spirit rest in peace!


Source: South African Government Information Website