Cape Town, the 6th December 2013
It is with greatest sadness that the refugee community in South Africa heard about the saddest news of the death of Nelson Mandela. I, on behalf of and in the name of the RDTJ, extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the former President of South Africa and share with South African people their greatest pain on this very difficult moment. His legacy of truth, humility, reconciliation and forgiveness has touched many of the Rwandan refugees who were warmly welcomed in South Africa as from his cherished presidential term to date. With Mandela’s inspiration, they came together and created an organisation (the RDTJ) that strives to promote genuine reconciliation, truth and justice in Rwanda.
Mandela’s belief in a culture of democracy and reconciliation has transformed the South African society from the anarchy state to a peaceful nation founded on the values of equality, dignity and freedom. He will truly be remembered for championing for reconciliation and peace, not only in South Africa, but in other parts of the world, especially in the Great Lakes region.
With passing on of Mandela, the African continent and the entire world have lost a great leader and a hero of the greatest men and women of our times. The creation of the RDTJ was inspired by Mandela’s understanding that "[o]ut of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud." The horrific tragedies – human disasters – are one of the main features that Rwanda shares with South Africa. The RDTJ believes that in Rwanda there will be born a society of which all Rwandans will be proud; a Rwandan nation that objects to oppression and discrimination. These are injustices that Mandela dedicated his life to fight against and for which he was prepared to die for the wellbeing of all South Africans.
The RDTJ follows the Mandela’s footsteps in its struggle for tolerance, justice, humanity, and the peaceful settlement of Rwandan ethnic and political conflicts so as to achieve a genuine national reconciliation. His physical being shall be missed but his legacy of true human integral values has opened a new chapter to the continent of Africa, in particular, and the world, in general and shall remain our light to follow his footsteps.
May his soul rest in Peace of God!
For and on behalf of
Rwandan Platform for Dialogue, Truth, and Justice (RDTJ)