South Africa
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Aziz Pahad ‘a mentor to many’: Ramaphosa’s emotional eulogy

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered an emotional eulogy highlighting the late Aziz Pahad's significant contributions to South Africa.

Johannesburg’s Westpark Cemetery was the scene of mourning and remembrance this Saturday morning as South Africa farewell to anti-apartheid activist, Aziz Pahad.

The former deputy foreign affairs minister passed away at the age of 82 last Wednesday evening. President Cyril Ramaphosa was present to deliver the eulogy.

Aziz Pahad’s funeral

Earlier this week, Ramaphosa bestowed the honor of a Special Official Funeral Category 2. Pahad’s older brother, Essop, who passed away in July, received similar honor

Ramaphosa’s eulogy

President Ramaphosa painted a poignant picture of the loss felt not just by the Pahad family but also by political entities such as the ANC, SA’s diplomatic community, and the wider democratic movement.

The president noted that the passing of Pahad was particularly painful for his family, who had already lost sons Essop and Junaid just a few months prior.

Ramaphosa described Pahad as a mentor to many in the diplomatic community and an integral part of the country’s journey to democracy.

Struggle and legacy

Ramaphosa acknowledged Pahad as one of the pillars in the fight for liberation and democracy in South Africa.

He emphasised how Pahad and other stalwarts of the liberation struggle served as roots that nourish the tree of South African democracy.

In challenging times, the solid foundation they have laid helps the country remain anchored.

Pahad’s multifaceted contributions

Pahad was remembered not just for his activism, but also for his influential role in the ANC and his service as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 1994 to 2008.

He played a crucial part in peacebuilding efforts both in Africa and the Middle East.

His commitment to the idea of servant leadership was noted, with the president urging the nation to remember Pahad for his dedication to a greater cause rather than his own ego.

A brighter future

Ramaphosa called attention to the need for the country to return to the path of transformation and uphold the values that leaders like Pahad fought for.

The president underscored the importance of servant leadership and said that the stalwarts of South Africa’s liberation struggle should serve as a guide for future generations.

He closed his tribute by offering his condolences to the Pahad family, assuring them that Aziz Pahad’s contributions would continue to illuminate the path of South Africa’s progress.