FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Mr Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate. On behalf of the IFP, I extend my deepest condolences to Mrs Nane Annan and the children. This loss is a shock to us all.
I was with Mr Annan just last month as I joined The Elders for the commemoration of 100 years since the birth of former President Nelson Mandela. At the invitation of Mrs Graça Machel, we opened the 100 Sparks of Hope Peace Park. Mr Annan seemed quite well and none of us could have known that this would be his last visit to South Africa.
Our country mourns with the global community. We will remember his leadership and his enormous capacity for empathy. His life’s contribution to the alleviation of poverty and suffering has changed millions of lives for good. His legacy is vast and will remain in our hearts and on our lips for years to come.
Like so many, I have quoted Mr Annan many times, for I admired his wisdom. In 2013, when I dedicated my parliamentary response to the State of the Nation Address to the increasing damage being done by corruption, I reminded us of Mr Annan’s warning.
He said, “Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign aid and investment. Corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.”
I have taken his words to heart as I serve my country. I will also never forget his inspirational statement that “Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development.”
As we mourn this loss, let us think on his words and his example of leadership. Let us focus on creating good governance, and removing corruption, within South Africa. If we can achieve this vision, we will have honoured his legacy.
May Mr Kofi Annan rest in peace.
IFP National Spokesperson
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