Capetonians show world how to ‘jol’ in memory of Madiba

2013-12-12 08:52

If the proceedings at the FNB Stadium in Joburg marked the public mourning for Mandela, the Cape Town memorial last night was the after-tears party.

Before the Cape Town Stadium gates even opened at 2pm, there was an air of festivity as Capetonians prepared to celebrate Mandela’s life and legacy.

The approximately 50?000 people filling the stadium waved flags, toyi-toyied, did the Mexican wave and danced at any and every opportunity.

The speeches by provincial ANC leader and deputy international relations minister Marius Fransman, 1995 Rugby World Cup captain Francois Pienaar, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, Premier Helen Zille and Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel were short and largely apolitical.

In fact it was Pienaar, a sportsman, who arguably received the most enthusiastic applause as he took to the stage.

Pienaar said Mandela recognised sport’s ability to unite people across race, creed, nationality and religion and used the rugby World Cup to unite South Africans at a time when they desperately needed to heal.

While there was a group of about 50 people dressed in ANC T-shirts and marshalled by a handful of MK veterans in camos who heckled and booed De Lille during her speech, they equally booed provincial ANC leader Marius Fransman, revealing an apparent disaffection with their own party and the provincially ruling DA.

Zille, although she was seen going over her notes in the press area before going on stage, seemed to give an entirely unscripted delivery that was more performance than speech, starting off with slightly off-key but heartfelt Madiba Lo and using Xhosa, Afrikaans and English to urge South Africans to continue Mandela’s legacy.

Having just flown back from Pretoria, she said she saw Mandela’s body as he lay in state and it was “peaceful”.

The peace he had achieved symbolised the peace South Africa must achieve.

“We must become a nation at peace with itself and the world,” she said.

Manuel, Cape Town’s own much-loved son, urged South Africa’s to emulate, “if nothing else”, Mandela’s discipline.

“Discipline will help us make this country one Madiba was prepared to live for and, if necessary, to die for,” he said.

“We must take forward his spirit of struggle, self sacrifice and humility.” - West Cape News publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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