South Africans might not be clear who in the ANC is winning the battle, but there is little doubt that it is the people of the country who are losing, writes Howard Feldman.
Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.
Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela on Saturday called for more solidarity
to end conflicts that have sown hatred and division around the
In a speech before the presentation of the annual Nelson
Mandela lecture by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,
Mandela, who turns 90 on July 18, said there was a need to place
concern for others at the centre of human values.
"There is still too much discord, hatred, division, conflict
and violence in our world here at the beginning of the
twenty-first century," he said.
The Nobel peace laureate, who gave his speech seated,
praised Johnson-Sirleaf for being an inspiring example for
Africa through her efforts for peace on the continent.
In her presentation of the 6th annual Mandela lecture, the
Liberian leader paid tribute to Mandela for paving the way for a
new generation of African leaders and bringing democracy to
Mandela, who retired from politics nine years ago, has
become a symbol of freedom admired the world over.
Before the lecture, a group of about 200 residents of
Kliptown, a squatter camp near the Soweto hotel where the
lecture took place, handed a protest letter to the Nelson
Mandela Foundation, saying Mandela's pledges of better living
conditions for all had not been fulfilled.
Johnson-Sirleaf, who became Africa's first elected woman
president in 2006, said Africa was edging closer to achieving
the goals of economic and political transformation, though many
"I do believe that a new Africa is unfolding before our
eyes. The African Renaissance is now at hand. It is within
reach," Johnson-Sirleaf said.
She said the continent had managed faster economic growth,
was slowly emerging from its debt crisis and had gradually
established more than 20 democracies.
However, there was still room for more development.
"First, we require much stronger economic management.
Second, the resolution of the debt crisis and the changing
relationship with our international partners. And third, the
shift to democratic and accountable governance."
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African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma says former president Nelson Mandela is the glue holding the country together.
Hundreds of people have started to gather at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium to celebrate former president Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.
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