World marks 1st Mandela Day since his death

2014-07-18 07:17

Johannesburg - People around the world will celebrate "Mandela Day" on Friday for the first time since the iconic former president's death, by doing good deeds on what would have been his 96th birthday.

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For the past five years millions have volunteered 67 minutes of their time on 18 July for the common good to mark Nelson Mandela's 67 years of activism for South Africa's freedom.

Mandela died on 5 December last year aged 95 after a lengthy illness. Tens of thousands of mourners, including world leaders, attended memorial services leading up to his funeral.

126 countries

The call to do good deeds in his name started in Johannesburg and New York in 2009, and has expanded to 126 countries this year.

For the first Mandela Day after his passing, events are planned in Paris, New York, Dallas, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, while a film portraying his life will premiere in China.

Meanwhile President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to bring out their brooms and mops and help spruce up their country.

"This year, we have decided to honour Madiba's memory through a massive 'Operation Clean Up for Madiba' campaign," he said.

"We should demonstrate our love for our beautiful country by cleaning our surroundings, together.

"In this way, we will be promoting working together to build our beautiful country, which is what Madiba taught us as South Africans," he added.

Authorities have encouraged citizens to clear litter from clinics and schools, though some taxpayers grumble that that is the government's job.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison during his struggle against apartheid. His actions to reconcile his country's divided people earned him global respect and the Nobel Peace prize.

"His extraordinary compassion after 27 years in prison showed that human rights and equality are stronger than discrimination and hate," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this week.

Social media

In the days leading up to Mandela Day, people have been urged to ask friends and colleagues to post pictures of their good deeds on social media.

Politicians have also capitalised on the event to polish their own image, announcing where they will be rolling up their sleeves in the hope of media coverage.

President Zuma will clean up a school in Mvezo, the village in the eastern Cape where Mandela was born.

Another theme for this year is food security in a nation where a quarter of the population goes hungry.

Citizen activist group LeadSA encouraged South Africans to plant vegetable gardens and donate food to feeding schemes "in the true spirit of active citizenship".

Newspapers have also weighed in with suggestions to volunteer in orphanages, donate books to schools or blankets to the homeless, or even to sterilise stray cats.

In a country notorious for high crime rates, one person even offered a 67-minute course in self-defence.

  • BraSteve Myaluze - 2014-07-18 07:26

    Some politicians could do us a favour and keep away from public funds for 67 minutes.

      Mc Apple - 2014-07-18 07:37

      Like that's going to happen.

      Carling Blacklabel - 2014-07-18 11:02

      "dirty deeds done dirt cheap" - zanc theme song

      Nathi Olifant - 2014-07-18 12:07

      strange this post has 67 likes now :)

  • Mc Apple - 2014-07-18 07:38

    Everything read well then I read "Jacob Zuma" and my next thought was, screw this.

  • Terrence Schwartz - 2014-07-18 07:43

    Operation clean up - surely this should be an EVERYDAY thing.

  • Lesiba Langa - 2014-07-18 07:47

    Mandela Day must be a international/world holiday

  • Nenio Makhosini - 2014-07-18 07:50

    Europen countries are named in the report, why did the reporter not mention African countries that have events planned today in honour of Madiba?

      Fanny McPee - 2014-07-18 07:58

      Misguided Euro guilt. Does that answer your question?

  • Henri James Christie - 2014-07-18 07:52

    Don't understand this, in SA, all that Mandela strived for and believed in has been trashed by Zuma and his followers, now they make a big deal of Mandela Day. Bunch of Hippocrates highlighting their false actions

  • Damian Landing - 2014-07-18 07:56

    Is there a day for the innocent CIVILIANS which were killed by UmKhonto we Sizwe?

      Terence Noel Hendricks - 2014-07-18 10:28

      And for the victims killed by the apartheid government

      Lee Young - 2014-07-18 11:32

      Voetsek... How many people have your forefathers killed in order to try keeping us in Apartheid...

      Potter Mharee - 2014-07-18 13:41

      Unfortunately all whites were oppressors in those days, hence there were no white civilians. Racist filth

      Potter Mharee - 2014-07-18 13:43

      @Zuma Etolls- The black population increased because you greedy lot needed more laborers.. I cherish how that back fired. Unfortunately your stupid bantu education is causing us to all suffer now.

      Theuns Jacobs - 2014-07-18 16:15

      the apartheid government didnt do a good enough job...hence ppl like zuma walking around..

  • Jp van der Wath - 2014-07-18 08:05

    67 min to Mandela, if all the Mandela supporters in the world would only give one min. to the LORD, that would be for a worthy course, HE would also like to be recognised

  • Mart Botha - 2014-07-18 08:25

    If you seriously want to be productive for South Africa, spend 67 minutes brainstorming how to empower and get people to stop birthing children into welfare. If you cannot commit to spending what is required to give your child a chance in life, then you have to accept that having only one child per happily married couple is the limit the universe is imposing on you. This is for the greater good and the health of the world at large. (source calorababy - The costs of raising a child in South Africa has been calculated (birth to 18) to be a whopping R1,681,470.00 for the average middle income family, this cost does not cover university or college tuition fees. That works out to a little more than R90,000 a year!). If you fail to acknowledge that the state cannot forever be held responsible for your desires, be they customary, personal or just plainly a reckless pursuit for self gratification, then you Sir/Madam are the problem.

      Damian Landing - 2014-07-18 09:14

      your calculations are correct, IF your aim is to uphold a certain standard, which is not the case...

      Zuma Etolls - 2014-07-18 13:17

      As hy staan steel hy, as hy le teel hy.

  • Nhlapo Pk Phoka - 2014-07-18 08:42

    Long live the spirit of Tata long live.

      Evah Florence - 2014-07-18 11:58

      Long live ntate madiba long live

  • Chris May - 2014-07-18 09:39

    Well, if people felt more worthy - there wouldn't be a mess, would there? So, if the government can't make people feel worthy and patriotic, I'll give it a shot for yet another day. Or another 67. No flags though :-), labelling not my style.

  • Viva Fighters Red beret Red Blood. - 2014-07-18 10:45

    i have been explaining to other guys the meaning of 46664

      Zuma Etolls - 2014-07-18 13:19

      What does it mean Red beret Period Blood?

  • Chris Fourie - 2014-07-18 12:50

    "...Meanwhile President Jacob Zuma has called on South Africans to bring out their brooms and mops and help spruce up their country...." You have no control over your impis you brain dead thief, have a look at what your unions are doing, soon there won't be a country to spruce up.

  • Ghoo Du Preez - 2014-07-18 14:59

    We had numerous people from various walks of life assist our NGO today (we care for more than 500 children through our programmes). They helped by giving their time helping with gardening, food items, clothing for the children, material etc for our programmes etc. It was lovely to see them as they came with smiles and warm hearts. Thank you to all our sponsors without your support our work with the children will not be possible! Staff and children SOS Children's Village Port Elizabeth

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