Zuma to visit Madiba in Qunu

2011-07-18 09:12

President Jacob Zuma will visit Nelson Mandela in Eastern Cape today to wish him a happy birthday.

“President Jacob Zuma will visit former president Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu this afternoon ... to wish him well on his birthday,” the Presidency said in a statement.

Zuma will use the opportunity to show Mandela, who turned 93 today, an architect’s impression of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge that will be constructed across the Mbashe River between Ndondolo Village in the Mbashe Local Municipality and the Mvezo Village in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality.

“The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will construct the bridge and road, which will link Mvezo village to the N2, and reduce the travel distance to Idutywa by nearly 50km. The construction of the bridge will also reduce the travel time between Mvezo and the N2 by approximately 1 hour 30 minutes,” the Presidency said.

“The bridge will improve the lives of people living in and around Madiba’s village and is one of the key contributions to keeping the Mandela legacy of a better life for all alive.”

Zuma paid tribute to Mandela’s legacy on today, saying:
“From the moment Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela strode out of prison on the 11th of February 1990, we knew that South Africa would be a different place.”

“He showed us that despite the divisive racial oppression and hardships that this nation had gone through, it is not only possible, but necessary to embrace one another and to reconcile the South African people.”

Mandela had laid the foundation for a “solid constitutional democracy,” said Zuma.

“We have achieved a lot, but we must still work further to eradicate poverty and improve especially the lives of children, because Madiba loves them so much. Most importantly, we must spread love, ubuntu, humility and selflessness around us,” said Zuma.

“To celebrate Madiba’s life, let each one of us, pledge to make South Africa an even better place in every possible way.”
Mandela was South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

He was celebrating the day in his Eastern Cape hometown of Qunu, out of the public eye, and under constant supervision by his doctors after a respiratory infection landed him in hospital in January.

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