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Kaizer Chiefs chairman Motaung pays tribute to Mandela

Posted: 6 December 2013 Time: 09:32

Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung has expressed his sadness at the passing of former state President Nelson Mandela.

The global icon, South Africa's first democratically elected head of state and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, succumbed yesterday, aged 95.

"I wish to express our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family, relatives, friends, South Africans and the World at large," Motaung said in a statement on Chiefs' official website.

"Madiba was an icon and revered for his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle which saw South Africa attaining freedom and the first democratic election in 1994. 

"We thank the Almighty for having afforded us and the entire world an opportunity to live in his times. In this time of God, our thoughts goes to his family. We would like to thank the family, his wife Mrs Graca Machel and his former wife Ms Winnie Mandela. 

"The Mandela family has sacrificed and endured suffering for the freedom of the people. May the family find solace in God, for He is the beginning and the end.

"There are many memories to share and no single event can describe Madiba. Madiba has earned himself among many accolades a Noble Peace Prize in 1993.

"As for Kaizer Chiefs, 05 April 2002 will forever be engraved in the minds of many of the staffers at Naturena as the date when Madiba officially opened the Kaizer Chiefs Village.

"On that day, Madiba who had already stepped down as the President of the Republic took time to spend an afternoon at Chiefs Village meeting the staff and the entire team.

"The sporting world will never forget his inspiration that saw South Africa triumph in both Afcon and Rugby World Cup. Wearing a replica of Springbok captain Francois Pienaar's No 6 jersey, Madiba encouraged the Springboks ahead of their do or die June 24, 1995, game against the All Blacks. 

"After the final whistle, Mandela shook Pienaar's hand and presented him with the William Webb Ellis trophy, punching the air as Pienaar held it aloft. He celebrated the win alongside the team.

"Less than a year later, on February 3, 1996, Mandela appeared in a replica of Bafana Bafana captain Neil Tovey's No 9 jersey at FNB Stadium. Inspired, the national soccer team went on to beat Tunisia 2-0 and claim the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations title."

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