SA commemorates Madiba’s first anniversary of his passing

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On 5 December 2013, the world lost one of its most iconic leaders and statesmen, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The South African government, led by the Presidency and supported by the Department of Social Development, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have collaborated to commemorate Madiba on the first anniversary of his passing in the year that marks twenty years of democracy.

The Foundation was founded by former president Mandela when he stood down from public service in 1999.

The aim of the Foundation is to contribute to the making of a just society by utilising the legacy of Nelson Mandela as a vital instrument for sharing memory, for growing it, and for engaging it in the pursuit of social cohesion. This it does through providing an integrated and rich public information resource on his life and times, and by convening dialogue around critical social issues.

The Foundation has planned and partnered on a number of key activities and initiatives between 4 and 15 December 2014 as a call to all South Africans, and the world, to keep his legacy alive by living his values and continuing with efforts aimed at ensuring that all humanity lives in a society where peace, tolerance, the rule of law, justice, equality and human rights are upheld.

Government departments, public service institutions, private sector and civil society organisations, communities and individuals will be requested to commit to initiatives in their respective fields of endeavour aimed at advancing Mandela’s values and keeping his memory alive through acts of public service in honour of the ultimate public servant, Madiba. These activities are in addition to the annual observation of Nelson Mandela International Day.

On the 5 December, the South African government represented by Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will lead an international call to action for schools, community centres, places of worship, and individuals to ring bells and sirens, use instruments, vuvuzelas and loudhailers at 09h56 (GMT+2) followed by a period of silence from 10h00 until 10h03 (GMT+2) in tribute to Madiba at Freedom Park in Pretoria. The South African National Anthem will then be sung wherever people are gathering.

The time lapse from the ringing of the bells to the end of the moment of silence is 6 minutes, 7 seconds and is symbolic of the 67 years Madiba spent in the service of humanity. This will follow the inter-faith prayer service and symbolic wreath-laying led by veterans, including Ahmed Kathrada, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Other initiatives, including the launch of the Foundation’s new and unique exhibition, the nationwide Mandela Day Literacy for Leadership Book Drive and the virtual tribute digital app in recognition of South Africa’s first democratically elected President, will all contribute towards building on Madiba’s legacy and marks our collective responsibility as active citizens to live his legacy.

The Foundation has curated a selection of the messages and contributions received from people across the world following Madiba’s passing in a special multimedia exhibition experience titled In Tribute to Nelson Mandela, which will be on display at the Foundation’s Centre of Memory in Houghton, Johannesburg, from 4 December until the end of February 2015. Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, together with Chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Mandela family members and key partners of the Foundation including the SABC, Telkom, AVAAZ and Edcon will officially open the exhibition.

“We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love from virtually every corner of the world and are grateful to each and every person who has shared how they have been touched by our beloved Madiba,” says Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Foundation.

The gun carriage that carried Madiba’s coffin will also be on display as the SANDF’s poignant military tribute of Madiba.

Members of the public are free to visit the Foundation’s Centre of Memory from 09h00 – 16h00 on weekdays and 9h00 -14h00 on weekends to reflect on and experience Madiba’s life and times. This includes: exhibitions viewings, multimedia experiences, public tribute boards etc.

Members of the public can go to the new www.nelsonmandela.org digital hub for details on all up-coming key commemorative events which include:

1 December: Launch of the nationwide Mandela Day Leadership for Literacy Book Drive. Members of the public are encouraged to donate books for the Mandela Day library programme via www.bookpeople.co.za/nelson-mandela-drive/. Books may also be dropped off at select Cotton On stores and the Foundation’s Centre of Memory, 107 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg.

4 December: Launch of the In Tribute to Nelson Mandela exhibition at the Foundation’s Centre of Memory, 107 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg from 17h30 onwards as well as the launch of the online Madiba Tributes App. The virtual app can be found on the Foundation’s new look responsive website: www.nelsonmandela.org that is filled with information on the life and times of Mandela, his contribution to the country and the world, and his legacy.

5 December: The South African Government (led by the Presidency and supported by the Department of Social Development) commemorative activities in Pretoria: 05h00 (GMT+2) Inter-faith prayer service and veterans wreath-laying at the Union Buildings, Pretoria. 09h00 (GMT+2) Freedom Park commemoration, tributes and international call to action.

15h00 (GMT+2) The Mandela Legacy Cup public tribute event – Proteas vs Springboks – held at the Bidvest Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg. The Proteas will play against the Springboks in a friendly cricket match with special performances from Johnny Clegg and Prime Circle, and public team signings to honour Madiba. To book go to www.ticketpro.co.za

6 December: Artists in Tribute to Madiba: 09h30 to 12h30 (GMT+2) – poets, writers, performers and musicians open session led by Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Foundation’s Centre of Memory, 107 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg.

7 December: National Bikers for Madiba (#BigRoarForMadiba) breakfast run. Bikers are encouraged to dedicate their Sunday breakfast runs nationwide to Madiba and support the Mandela Day Leadership for Literacy Book Drive.

12 December: Comedians in Tribute to Madiba: 17h00 – 19h30 (GMT+2), at the Foundation’s Centre of Memory, 107 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg.

13 December: Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk. Registration is still open and forms can be accessed on the departmental website on www.sacr.gpg.gov.za

14 December: The inaugural Tshwane City Marathon, with the “last mile” in honour of Madiba. Visit www.tshwanecitymarathon.co.za

To close, we are at this time reminded of Madiba’s words: “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”

#LivingtheLegacy, #RememberMadiba

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