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'Madiba's legacy will live on'

Deputy President Motlanthe says South Africans must celebrate Nelson Mandela's life and lessons.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says even in his absence, Nelson Mandela's legacy will continue to build South Africa into a better country. Picture:EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says although a sombre mood has enveloped the nation since former president Nelson Mandela's death, his legacy will continue to build South Africa into a better country even in his absence.

Mandela passed away at his Houghton home in northern Johannesburg on Thursday 5 December at the age of 95.

He was buried in the rural village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday 15 December at a funeral service attended by 4,000 people.

Motlanthe says although it's sad that this is the first Christmas that South Africa is celebrating without Madiba, he encouraged South Africans to celebrate his life and lessons.

"Mandela's writings and actions will continue to inspire democracy, peace, justice, equality, non-sexism and non-racialism across all ages."

Motlanthe also wished South Africans a merry and peaceful Christmas.

Other politicians have also wished South Africans a merry Christmas and happy holidays.

The Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane said he hopes 2014 will be a successful year for all.

"We wish for a prosperous 2014 so businesses can do well and people can find work."

The ANC Youth League's Bandile Masuku says people should not forget those less fortunate during this time of the year.

"Think about those who are underprivileged and destitute and share a meal or two with them."