December 11, 2013

Parliament on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to eulogize the great former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela who died last Thursday for his selfless life and for leading the struggle to liberate his people under apartheid rule.

The MPs described him as an iconic figure of leadership and arguably the greatest man of his generation and across the generations and was also one of the most courageous people any individual could ever hope to meet.

The Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Kunbour in a statement on the floor of the House in memory of the great son of Africa noted that Mandela’s life embodied a holistic view of principles and virtues ever lived in this contemporary world.

“In fact, he was well rounded in all aspects of life. The life of Nelson Mandela as a freedom fighter, a prisoner, and finally as a president and post presidency; captured a broad spectrum of valuable moral lessons, principles and philosophies which we must emulate in order to live his legacies,’’ he said.

Dr Benjamin Kunbour noted that Mandela was an embodiment of reconciliation, presiding over the transition from apartheid minority rule to multicultural democracy, he saw national reconciliation as the primary task of his presidency and worked to reassure South Africa’s white population that they were protected and represented in “the Rainbow Nation”.

Adding his voice to the statement, MP for Secondi Papa Owusu Ankomah stated that the life of Mandela is a great lesson in leadership especially one that teaches individuals to places ones nation above ones personal interest.

He added that as leaders it is important and prudent to bow out when the applause is loudest as was shown by Mandela when he served only a term in office when in fact he could have stay for years as some African leaders did.

“it takes a man of courage to place vilification and persecution behind him and embrace his enemies. He has taught us that there is life after leadership. Often we are asked what you will do with your life when you leave office as President or MP as if that is all there is to life. In deed there is life after leadership, let us live our lives such that on our death beds people will genuinely mourn us.” Papa Ankomah stressed.

Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa MP for North Tongu on his part saluted the efforts of all those who took part in the liberation struggle including Ghana Capt. Kojo Tsikata who faught in a war in wich the apartheid army was humiliated which eventually led to the freeing of the black majority South Africans.

MP for Tema East in adding his voice to the statement described Mandela as a symbol of peace who demonstrated this to the fullest.

He noted that Mandela had the opportunity as a lawyer to make money but decided that the majority of South Africans were more important than himself and so shelved his law practice and begun the struggle for liberation.

Hon. Titus Glover added that there is the need for Ghana to have someone like Nelson Mandela who will speak for the entire country to listen both in social life and politics.