Zille honours Mandela legacy to mark Heritage Day

2009-09-25 00:00

DEMOCRATIC Alliance Leader Helen Zille commemorated Nelson Mandela’s legacy of non-racism on Heritage Day — a legacy she said many people are betraying these days.

Speaking at the site in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands where Mandela was captured 37 years ago, Zille said it has become easy for people running out of argument to turn around and accuse their detractors of being racist. When this happens, remember Mandela’s legacy, she said.

The DA leader quoted Mandela’s words, spoken from the dock at the Rivonia trial, and pledged that her party would read these words every Heritage Day.

Mandela had said: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities.

“It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Zille added that if Mandela had been sentenced to death in that trial it would have been impossible for South Africa to have a peaceful transition to democracy that celebrates one nation with one future. She thanked him for that vision.

DA provincial chairman Greg Krumbock said it was appropriate the meeting was held at the Nelson Mandela capture site because Madiba is an icon who belongs to all South Africans.On Heritage Day, he added, the party will also celebrate the lives of men and women from the diverse communities whose lives epitomise the ideals of a united South Africa.

Zille was joined yesterday by the former premier of KZN, Frank Mdlalose, former Chatsworth Woman of the Year Kanagie Pillay and anti-apartheid activist and Black Sash member Rita Easton.

Mdlalose told the gathering that Heritage Day is to remember the past, but not dwell on it. He said there is a need to use the foundation laid by leaders like Mandela to move to a better future.

“I know that the future belongs to the democratic forces in South Africa,” Mdlalose said.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com 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.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.