Mandela Day should be about more than ‘do-gooding’ – Kgalema Motlanthe

2014-04-08 18:18

Mandela Day should not just be about “do-gooding”. It should be about service, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has said.

Speaking at the launch of the Nelson Mandela International Day 2014 in Joburg today, Motlanthe told the more than 50 guests that by making the day about service “we can build a culture of long-lasting giving that can in turn make a difference to the world [instead of once-off charity work]”.

This will be the first year since the inception of the day in 2008 that people around the world will participate in the day of giving since the death of former president Nelson Mandela.

“This is a special year for Nelson Mandela Day, let us use Madiba’s death to renew our commitment to the cause,” Motlanthe said.

“It’s not too much to ask that we devote 67 minutes of our time [on July 18], to honour a towering hero like Nelson Mandela.”

Also in attendance at the Houghton launch were members of the Mandela family. Mandla Mandela, Mvezo chief and grandson of Nelson Mandela, echoed Motlanthe’s sentiments.

“My grandfather gave 67 years of his life to a selfless struggle ensuring he is of service to our people and today at the launch of the Nelson Mandela International Day for 2014 we are here to remind society of the legacy he leaves with us,” he said.

The CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, said this year the theme for the day would be literacy, shelter, food and security. He described these themes as non-prescriptive and said people were free to interpret Madiba’s legacy in any way they believed to be fitting.

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