Item 1385 - Address at the State funeral of Kate Zuma, December 2000

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-S-1385


Address at the State funeral of Kate Zuma, December 2000


  • 2000-12-17 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

State funeral for Kate Zuma

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



We gather here with great sadness at the loss of a much-valued comrade and friend. She was still in the prime of her life with so much that she still had to offer.

We deeply mourn the passing of Kate Zuma. With her death at the very young age of 44 a precious piece of our national life is lost. A developing society like ours looks particularly to the energy, skills and experience such as Kate Zuma possessed and which she so selflessly put at the disposal of our country and people.

South Africa today is immensely poorer for the loss of this very talented young woman.

We can only trust that the example she set in life will continue to serve as an inspiration to those that remain behind, particularly the young.

Although she left South Africa in her youth her commitment to her country never wavered. While living and working in Mozambique she played a key role in our liberation struggle. Without her strategic presence in Mozambique many of our operations would not have been possible.

She embodied the spirit of solidarity across national borders. Her work for the liberation movement combined South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in struggle and solidarity. We can continue to learn from that example that we here in Southern Africa, and indeed in Africa, are one people with a common purpose.

She was very well qualified in her field, having studied in many countries and having learnt a remarkable number of languages. Once more there is a sterling example for our youth to follow. She never stopped learning; she never reached a stage of resting on her laurels. If each and every one of our youth could strive to be a Kate Zuma in this respect, our country will certainly grow and bloom to be the place she dreamt of and worked for.

As the wife and companion of one of our top national leaders she played that crucial role that is not acknowledged often enough, that of silent supporter, advisor and co-bearer of the pressures and tensions of office. Our Deputy President was privileged to have at his side a partner of such skill, experience, wisdom and grace as Kate.

We mourn with him and the children and offer them our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences. We trust that they shall, in these moments of loss and bereavement, find some comfort from knowing that so many of their compatriots share in their feeling of loss.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma has been playing an increasingly important role in national life as well as in matters on the continent. We know that he will sorely and sadly miss the presence of his beloved wife at his side.

He has proved to be an outstanding deputy to his President who can trust him to attend to the matters of state delegated to him. The media of the country has remarked on the strong role he has been playing in this regard.

I can similarly comment on the decisive part he has played in the negotiations I have been conducting in Burundi, for example. Without his assistance and wisdom the successes of that process would not have been achieved. He continues to be the main negotiator with the rebel groups from that country.

In all of this he had the support of his beloved wife Kate. It is tragic that he has now lost that mainstay of support, and our thoughts go particularly to him and his family.

We salute the memory of a remarkable woman, a selfless freedom fighter, a dedicated mother, a supporting partner and a great friend.

Hamba kahle, Kate.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 01/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places