Former PAC president Stanley Mogoba remembers Madiba

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Dr Stanley Mogoba has "fond memories of his dealings with Madiba" as a fellow former prisoner, member of the Methodist Church and Parliamentarian.

Nelson Mandela speaking on Robben Island in 2003. (Gallo)

Dr Stanley Mogoba, former president of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), paid tribute to Nelson Mandela on Friday as both a fellow former prisoner and a fellow Parliamentarian. Though Mandela and Mogoba led two parties that opposed each other – the PAC broke away from the ANC – the former PAC president said he had "fond memories of my dealings with Madiba". 

Mandela died aged 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday. 

"In Parliament, Madiba would introduce me to visiting heads of state as 'my bishop … who also opposes me in Parliament', and he would laugh heartily with that great sense of humour he was known for," Mogoba said.

Former bishop
Mogoba is a former presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, a church of which Mandela was a member. Mandela and Mogoba are both recipients of the World Methodist Peace Award. 

"I remember the times we spent together during the special visits I made to Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison in Paarl to give Madiba holy communion and an update of what was happening outside prison at the time," said Mogoba. Pollsmoor is in Tokai, Cape Town, and Victor Verster is now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre.

Mogoba expressed sadness at Mandela’s death and sent condolences to Mandela’s family. "We are thinking of Madiba’s family, especially Mama Graça Machel, and how they have stood by his side through his long illness."

The government has declared 10 days of mourning and will hold a memorial service at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday, December 10 before Madiba's funeral in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday, December 15.

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