Melanie Verwoerd Shares Her Memories of Nelson Mandela
“I feel like I’ve lost a father today,” Melanie Verwoerd told Garreth MacNamee from The Irish Mirror about former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5 December. Verwoerd recalls meeting Mandela and him telling her not to apologise for her surname as she could choose to use it for good.
Verwoerd worked for Mandela’s government and was the South African ambassador to Ireland from 2001 to 2003. In this article for The Irish Times she shares her memories from Mandela’s visit to Ireland in 2003.
Devastated Melanie Verwoerd has revealed her anguish following Nelson Mandela’s death saying: “I feel like I’ve lost a father.”
The former South African ambassador to Ireland told how she has been left grief stricken by his passing on Thursday night.
There is an incredible depth of sadness in South Africa. Over the past three months South Africans have been preparing themselves for the inevitable. The death on Thursday of Madiba, as he is known here, has allowed them to finally express their sadness.
It’s very hard to explain the depth of love South Africans have for Nelson Mandela. I have heard no dissenting voices about this wonderful man. If there were any, they would not speak publicly. There can be no new Mandela, no hero of his stature. Nobody will ever come close to what he achieved, and nobody in South Africa would try to. But he has inspired all South Africans, of all races, to live better lives.