Today was the day we have all known would come, when we lost a man we couldn't imagine losing. Everyone's family has lost a beloved grandfather.
The only surviving son of former president Nelson Mandela died of Aids "an ordinary disease".
A few hours after Makgatho Mandela, 54, died in the Linksfield Park clinic in Johannesburg on Thursday morning, the former president spoke out over his son's illness and asked the country to break the silence surrounding HIV/Aids.
Surrounded by his wife, Graca Machel, daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, and doctor Lindiwe Sisulu, family friend and minister of housing, Mandela said: "A member of my family died because of Aids."
"I have been saying for more than three years that we should speak openly about HIV/Aids and not hide it away. It is the only way in which it will become an ordinary disease - just like TB (tuberculosis) and just like cancer.
"If we speak about it, people will stop thinking that it is something people will go to hell for and never see heaven."
Mandela said some of his friends frowned upon it when he openly spoke about his prostate cancer. Even when he had tuberculosis on Robben Island, his friends knew and they could support him.
"There is no point in hiding a disease that makes you suffer.
"If you hide it, you still have to go to the doctor. The doctor has assistants who will start whispering: 'Did you know? Mandela's son died of Aids.'
"That would have left a bad impression."
His campaign against the stigma and silence surrounding Aids has nothing to do with his son's battle against the disease.
"When I started the campaign, I had no idea that it (Aids) would affect a member of my family as well. I merely laid down a general principal: We must not hide HIV/Aids away. Even Aids is an ordinary disease."Thank you, Madiba.