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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo


Johannesburg Zoo


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In a moving ceremony, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo employees bid Madiba a fond farewell in song, prayer and poetry.

THIS morning, employees from Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) gathered at Thokoza Park in Soweto to pay their last respects to our nation’s beloved Madiba.

The moving ceremony, attended by Managing Director Bulumko Nelana, the executive team, general managers and other employees, was held next to the Thokoza Park mural depicting Madiba.  Madiba planted the 90th tree in Thokoza Park when he celebrated his 90th birthday.

The ceremony commenced with song and prayer, after which Nelana delivered a eulogy for the international icon; he also delivered a poem he penned for Madiba:


Our teary eyes star-gazing
Our hope lies yonder
Our fears buried in the belly
Our march is unstoppable
We are the your children

From you we suckled courage
In you we saw honour, humility and heroism
You stirred fire in our bosom
You moulded determination and discipline
You made us Us

The Mighty were emasculated
The Invincible cowered in our relentlessness
The Goliaths of yester year crumbled in the face of defiance
The Army with the gusto of the Roman Empire fizzled
The Secret and dirty war agents were defeated
Because we trusted in you

You bitterless leader
Imperfection embraced
A well of our pain and sorrow
Peace and Love anchored
Our future secured
An angel guised as homo sapien
Madiba you were a father par excellence

Your legacy, our legacy
Our children were your children
Our mothers were your concern
Our hunger worried you
Our mis-education irked you
Our illness perturbed you
Madiba you cared for us

Our promise
Poverty will be history in our lifetime
Our planet will be safe and healthy
Our children and grandchildren will be happy and healthy
Our mothers, sisters and girls will be safe
Our homes, cities and country will be safe and prosperous
We shall be educated
We shall be forgiving and loving
We shall be you
We shall be you
We shall be you

The ceremony concluded with JCPZ staff laying wreaths at the mural.

Hamba Kahle Tata Mandela: The Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo will always remember you.