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Ethipia: The African Union (AU) Holds Memorial Services for Late Mandela
Source: www.SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, December 09, 2013
Country: Ethiopia
Created: Dec 09, 2013

Eulogy was conducted by Ndumiso Ntshinga, South African Ambassador to Ethiopia, and the AU, whereby the Ambassador presented the life of Mandela.
"By 1939, at the age of 20, Nelson Mandela began his tertiary education and qualified as a lawyer. His years at university opened up a new world to him. A world of ideas, political beliefs and debates, a world where people were passionate about politics, it is in this academic environment where Mandela was exposed to young men and women who would form the vanguard of the most important political movements of the years to come. People were willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the oppressed," said the Ambassador.
"By 1944, Nelson Mandela co-founded the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. By 1951, he was elected President of this body. Madiba often said that he could not pinpoint a moment in his life when he became politicized, a specific moment when he knew that he would spend his life in the liberation struggle," he said.
Children also read the obituary.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, praised Mandela's struggle and contribution to freedom and humanity, as well as his contribution to Africa's peace, development and prosperity.
In her statement on the passing away of Mandela prior to the memorial service, the chairperson said, "Madiba, as he was fondly known, symbolizes the spirit of Pan Africanism and solidarity in the struggles of humanity against apartheid, oppression and colonialism and for self-determination, peace and reconciliation."
Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian Prime Minister, and also Chairperson of the African Union, said Mandela is one of Africa's greatest sons and an icon figure of exceptional contribution to humanity.
The premier underscored on the lesson learnt from the life of Mandela.
"As we celebrate his exceptional life today it is incumbent upon us to once again dedicate ourselves to the very ideals this great man stood for; justice, equality, freedom, democracy, unity and diversity and of course the renaissance of our mama Africa," he said.
The AU has also opened book of condolence and the flags on the premises of the AU headquarters has been flying half-mast since Friday.
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