Monseigneur Jean Kockerols, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Malines

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Monseigneur Jean Kockerols, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Malines
Welcoming Remarks by Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, on the occasion of the Memorial
Service held in a Honour of the Late President Rolihlahla Mandela, Brussels, 12 December
2013
Monseigneur Jean Kockerols, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels,
The Reverend Canon Dr. Robert Innes, President of the Anglican Church in Belgium,
Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Home Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ms
Joelle Milquet,
Excellencies, Ambassadors,
Honourable Secretary General of the Belgian Federal Public Service, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade
and Development, Ambassador Dirk Achten
Honourable Secretary-General of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group, Alhaji Muhammad
Mumuni,
Honourable Director for West and Central Africa at the European External Action Services, Mr
Peteris Ustubs,
Esteemed Members of the Federal, Regional, Provincial and Local Governments of Belgium,
Honourable Members of the Belgian Parliament,
Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
My Fellow Compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Graag wil ik deze gelegenheid te baat nemen om iedereen hier aanwezig te groeten en van harte
te verwelkomen op deze herdenkingsdienst ter ere van wijlen President Nelson Rolihlahla
Mandela, Nobelprijswinnaar voor de Vrede en Laureaat van de Orde van Mapungubwe, de
hoogste eer in de Republiek van Zuid-Afrika.
A cette occasion nous remercions également la communauté fraternelle du Groupe Afrique
Caraïbes, Pacifique, et l’Union européen pour leurs messages de condoléances. Vos paroles
démontrent que vous partagez notre chagrin et ainsi vous nous aidez dans notre guérison en
saluant la vie de Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela has achieved his purpose in life and we have to set him free. He is at peace with
his God. In his words, "Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to
be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort
and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity." President Mandela joins a rare breed of
illustrious, highly distinguished and exceptional men and women who constitute a galaxy of stars
that brightens the firmament of the universe, gallant towers who have changed and shaped the
world for the better.
In spite of being referred to severally as a Baobab, Africa's most imposing tree and a Colossus,
Nelson Mandela was an epitome of humility and compassion. He exuded warmth and kindness
and was adored by millions the world over. He remains a powerful symbol of good over evil, hope
over despair, who used the power of forgiveness and reconciliation to heal and build a new
nation, the 'Rainbow nation'. Even as he lies still , Nelson Mandela continues to inspire humanity
with his steadfast conviction to freedom, democracy, justice and equality, hence his legacy will
endure forever.
Today Nelson Mandela challenges us to be active agents for positive and progressive change, to do
good for humanity. In his world acclaimed autobiography, The Long Walk To Freedom, he wisely
counsel, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have
made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
The relevance of the legacy of President Mandela lies in the fact that we continue to live in a world
that is characterised by growing inequality, rising levels of hunger and poverty, the burden of
disease, intractable conflicts, and new threats of terrorism and climate change. President Mandela
challenges us not to resign ourselves to this reality and accept the world as it is, but to be motive
forces for progressive change and transform the world as it ought to be. The difference we can
make is to champion the cause for finding enduring, durable peace in the world, pursuing with
renewed rigour the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, finalising a developmental
framework for the post 2015 development agenda. The best tribute we can pay to Nelson
Mandela is to pursue relentlessly and with determination the ideals of freedom, democracy,
justice and equality for all.
Om te besluiten willen wij graag onze welgemeende dank uitdrukken aan Zijne Majesteit de
Koning der Belgen, Koning Filip, alsook aan het volk en de regering van België voor hun genereuze
en niet-aflatende steun en medewerking, hetgeen enorm heeft bijgedragen tot onze ontwikkeling.
Wij zullen altijd rekenen op België als een sleutel- en strategische partner in onze ontwikkeling, de
ontwikkeling van Zuid-Afrika, Afrika en de wereld.
Je profite également de cette occasion pour remercier son Excellence l’Ambassadeur Labouverie,
Chef de Protocol Fédéral, et son staff pour leur aide en organisant cet événement. Et finallement
je remercie son éminence l’évêque Kockerols et le Reverend Innes de nous avoir ouvert les portes
de cette cathédrale et d’avoir béni cet événement.
Long live Belgo-South Africa solidarity and cooperation!
Long live the spirit and legacy of Madiba!
Dank u wel. Je vous remercie.
I thank you for your kind attention.