Blasphemy: even communists go to heaven

Johannesburg – ANC deputy president Cyril
Ramaphosa on Sunday encouraged South Africans to
emulate former president Nelson Mandela.
Speaking at interfaith prayers at the Standard Bank
Arena in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said Mandela
had left ANC members with a legacy of loyalty,
discipline, tolerance and unity.
President Jacob Zuma had been scheduled to speak
at the event, but was held up with Mandela’s
memorial and burial plans, said Ramaphosa.
He said he was sure that Mandela would find
members of the ANC waiting for him in heaven.
"Mandela will find a branch of the ANC," said
"They will roll out a red carpet and say Nelson
Rolihlahla Mandela, welcome home."
Mandela had once said that if he died and went to
heaven, when he got there, he would search for a
branch of the ANC.
ANC anti-apartheid stalwarts Oliver Tambo, Lilian
Ngoyi, Joe Slovo, and Walter Sisulu would also be
there, said Ramaphosa.
He hailed Madiba as the only leader who was able to
bring change to the country and the world.
Ramaphosa encouraged people to celebrate
Mandela’s life.
"We must celebrate with the knowledge that he is
going home," said Ramaphosa.
Besides freedom, Mandela had brought education,
housing and electricity to the people of South Africa.
Speaking about Mandela’s passing, Ramaphosa said
Madiba had prepared the nation for it.
"He had a plan to prepare us for him leaving us,"
said Ramaphosa.
He said the nation was struck by sadness when
Mandela was hospitalised earlier in the year but that
was his way of letting the nation know that he was
leaving soon.
The ailing former statesman died in his Houghton
home on Thursday.
He was 95.
"He would have expected us to work diligently and
continue to build this country," said Ramaphosa.
Also at the event was the African National Congress
Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile.
He said he chose to remember Mandela in song and
spoke very briefly.
He sang along and danced as hymns were sung by
the religious organisations.
"Today we are a free people, united in our diversity
by Nelson Mandela," said Mashatile.
Hundreds of people, mostly ANC members attended
the service.
Most were in their ANC T-shirts as well as the ANC
Women’s League uniform.
Others were dressed in uniforms from their various
The Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Baha’i and
other African faiths were represented.
A large banner with a picture of a smiling Mandela
hung from the arena’s roof. Large posters with some
of Mandela’s quotes were placed at the front of the
One read: "I am the captain of my soul", and
another: "Your freedom and mine cannot be
Religious speakers hailed Mandela as a good leader
who had united the country.
"He believed religion was part of democracy," said a
Muslim man.
Mandela will be buried in the Eastern Cape on 15


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