Sexwale: Mandela Day about reconciliation

2011-06-20 15:11
Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela is not famous for being a freedom fighter or former president but for striving for reconciliation, Nelson Mandela Foundation trustee and Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Monday.

"He put a white flag in the hands of his enemies and helped them to raise it. This is what the world has seen in him and this is what Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrating," Sexwale said at the 2011 launch of the day in Houghton.

Nelson Mandela International Day would be on July 18. The day, which is also the former president's birthday, had been marked since 2009 to celebrate Mandela's impact on the world.

The launch was held to provide context about the day, and to remember Mandela's contribution to the creation of a democratic South Africa.

Sexwale said that people were not there to remember the man but what he stood for.

"Nelson Mandela's influence will only be felt in South Africa when people follow his ideas and reconcile differences with their enemies.

"The message is in our hands. Madiba won't always be with us and this day is there to remind us that we all need to make sure that it is spread throughout the world."

On Sunday, ANC veteran and Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela praised re-elected ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, saying he was like her former husband.

Malema has said that if the ANC failed with land reform, the league would "lead a revolution which seeks to reclaim the land" from the country's minority owners.

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