Nelson Mandela is dying.
As a nation we have to accept this.
We may celebrate his life, his achievements and his legacy, but above all we have to let him go.
For his family this time is intensely personal and to share this intimacy with an entire country must take an enormous toll.
Even more shocking to me is the rumour that President Obama might turn this great man’s deathbed into a public relations photo-op.
To intrude on a family’s grief in this way beggars belief.
Nelson Mandela is a statesman, a past President, he is our leader and the father of a democratic South Africa.
First and foremost though, he is a husband, a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather.
It is time we honoured this.
Nelson Mandela is not a saint. He is a man. He has done both good and evil in the name of his cause. People died. People lived.
I doubt many of us could have walked out those gates and called for peace the way he did.
The day he passes I fear the conscience not only of this country, but this continent will pass with him.
My greatest fear is that all he fought for and stood for will come to naught, as the greed and avarice so endemic in the leadership of the ANC runs riot.
Now is not the time for that.
To give thanks for his enormous strength, his love for this country and the children he adored.
It is time to say our goodbyes and celebrate this giant of a man whose integrity, wisdom, humility and leadership have enriched our lives.
It is time to wish him well on another great adventure.
Our loss can only be heaven’s gain.
This year on Mandela Day (18 July) let us all follow his example all over the world and in some small way contribute to his legacy by giving 67 minutes of our time to better the communities in which we live.
Find out more on http://www.mandeladay.com