In another blog post (in Swedish) I asked the question: Who owns Mandela? One answer is: the people. At least that is what Madiba himself said when he addressed the people on the 11 February 1990, just released from prison:
I stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining yeas of my life in your hands.
When I read what Archbishop emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu has said, being one of the elders, it goes very well together with this:
God was so good to us in South Africa by giving us Nelson Mandela to be our President at a crucial moment in our history.
So, Mandelas life belonged to God, was given to Mandela himself, who generously gave it to the people. Now it is time for us to give him back to God. This is also the content in the prayer for Madiba, which Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Cape Town has written and published on his blog:
Go forth, revolutionary and loving soul, on your journey out of this world, in the name of God, who created you, suffered with you and liberated you.
Go home Madiba, you have selflessly done all that is good, noble and honourable for God’s people.
We will continue where you have left off, the Lord being our helper.
We now turn to you, Lord, in this hour of darkness, sadness, pain and death, in tears and mourning,
We wail, yet we believe that you will console us, that you will give us the strength to hold in our hearts and minds, and the courage to enact in our lives, the values Madiba fought and stood for.
We turn to you, Lord, and entrust Madiba’s soul to your eternal rest and loving arms as he rejoins the Madiba clan, his comrades and all the faithful departed.
We pray particularly for his closest and dearest, for Ma Graca Machel, for his children, grandchildren and all his relatives; may you surround them with your loving arms, your fatherly embrace and comfort.
At this dark time of mourning, at this perfect time when you have called him to rest and a perfect end, accept his soul and number him among the company of the redeemed in Heaven.
Console and comfort his family, South Africa and the world.
May his long walk to freedom be enjoyed and realised in our time by all of us.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE AND RISE IN GLORY!