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Manning: Madiba ‘lived’ love

Saturday, December 7 2013

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Lara's hero: TT and West Indies star cricketer presented Nelson Mandela with an autographed bat, commemorating his world record 400 Test runs, when he...
Lara's hero: TT and West Indies star cricketer presented Nelson Mandela with an autographed bat, commemorating his world record 400 Test runs, when he...

San Fernando East MP and former prime minister, Patrick Manning, who hosted Nelson Mandela on his visit to this country in 2004, yesterday hailed the late South African president as a man who lived a “tremendously courageous and purposeful life”.

“His 95 years on earth must be hailed as the most fruitful, productive and impactful life ever lived in our time,” Manning said in a statement yesterday.

Manning welcomed Mandela to TT on April 29, 2004 when the iconic leader arrived for a two-day visit, seeking support for South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup. His visit was cut short with the news of the death of his first wife Evelyn Mace and Mandela left Trinidad on May 1, regretting not being able to go to Tobago. Yesterday, Manning said Mandela lived the “life of a true Christian”.

“His refusal to hate and his demonstrated capacity to forgive were clearly linked to his understanding that God is love and it is our duty to forgive,” he said. Mandela “lived” love, said Manning, and was as a model for the world. “There is no doubt in my mind that Madiba’s life of struggle, love and forgiveness caused the great people of South Africa to circumvent much of the expected long and painful healing that is necessary after over 300 years of African suffering as a result of apartheid.”

Manning said God blessed Mandela with longevity, not enjoyed by many freedom fighters. “He was able to see the struggle and the fruit of it in his lifetime. I take away from Nelson Mandela that a life lived out of a heart of love is able to save a country, touch the world and bless Almighty God.”

Manning quoted Mandela saying that no-one is born hating others because of skin-colour, background or religion. “People must ‘learn’ to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” recited Manning. “I convey deep condolences from my family to his family, to the great people of South Africa and to all who mourn his passing. Let us celebrate the great life he lived.”

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