Minister Dlamini Zuma's Message of Support on the Death of Raymond Mhlaba

SWAZILAND- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma today, Monday 21 February 2005 extended from Swaziland, a message of support to the family of Raymond Mhlaba, former South African Ambassador to Uganda who passed away on Monday.

"It is rather difficult for us to accept that the flame that once illuminated the corridors of South African diplomacy, tata-Raymond Mhlaba, has forever dimmed, said Minister Dlamini Zuma.

" It is as if Nikolai Ostrovsky, in his How the Steel was Tempered, was observing the life and times of tata-Raymond Mhlaba when he observed -Man's dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that dying, he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world-the fight for the liberation of mankind" continued Minister Dlamini Zuma.

"Indeed for us tata-Raymond Mhlaba was synonymous with the unflinching sacrifices, even at a great personal cost in the quest for freedom, peace and justice in South Africa.

" Yet when the clarion call was made for him to represent democratic South Africa as the Ambassador to Uganda, tata-Raymond Mhlaba, rose to the challenge like a great African, colossal and humanitarian, again ready to sacrifice in the humble service to the people of his country.

" For tata-Raymond Mhlaba understood clearly that diplomacy is the advancement of our national objectives at the international level for the betterment of the quality of life of all South Africans.

"Like a flower, tata-Raymond Mhlaba's memory will forever blossom in the hearts of the entire South African diplomatic corps in the quest for a better South Africa and a better Africa in a better world" continued Minister Dlamini Zuma.

"On behalf of the Ministry and management of the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the entire South African Diplomatic Corps at home and abroad, may I extend our heartfelt condolences to all members of the Mhlaba family in this hour of need" concluded Minister Dlamini Zuma.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

21 February 2005.

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