Mandela freedom overshadows Zuma address

2010-02-11 16:50

The 20 year commemoration of former president Nelson Mandela’s

release from prison overshadowed President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation

address in parts of Soweto today.

The address, which is expected to start at 7pm, clashes with a

movie preview of Mandela’s life story at Maponya Mall in Klipspruit - also

scheduled to start at 7pm.

More than 300 people are expected at the premier and restaurants

inside the largest mall in the township were preparing to host them late this afternoon.

Moses Hlongwane, from News Cafe, said "honestly, there is nothing organised for the state of the nation

address, because we have been focusing on the Madiba celebrations this evening. The restaurant will be opened and our television screens will be

switched on for those who wish to watch the address.”

Popular tourist destination Vilakazi Street, in Orlando West - the

location of Mandela’s former home, which is now a museum - hosts two of

Soweto’s most popular eateries and Soweto TV.

One of the restaurants, Sakhumzi, was kept busy all day

commemorating Mandela’s freedom.

“It seems the Madiba freedom celebrations have overshadowed the

state of the nation address,” said Benjamin Mamatela, of Sakhumzi.

He did not know what time the president was expected to speak, but

said the restaurant’s screens would be turned on for interested customers.

He said staff had been talking about Zuma, just not about his


The street’s other restaurant, Nambitha’s, is closed for


Soweto TV would broadcast a feature on Mandela tonight,

said station manager Elise Viljoen. The state of the nation address would be

included in news broadcasts tomorrow.

The township’s largest radio station has been mentioning both

Zuma’s address and the Mandela event, with the latter taking preference.


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