Centenary celebration programmes for Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu announced

2018-05-08 17:36
Nelson Mandela (AP)

Nelson Mandela (AP)

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The government is hoping to use centenary celebrations for former president Nelson Mandela and struggle activist Albertina Sisulu to bring South Africans closer together.

"Ladies and gentlemen, our appeal today is simple - let us use the Mandela and Ma Sisulu centenary to recommit ourselves to their values and principles," Minister of Energy and chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on the centenary celebrations, Jeff Radebe, said on Tuesday.

Radebe was speaking at the launch of the programme for the two struggle icons.

"South Africans must work together to remove all obstacles which still divide our society and strive to build on the many ties that bind us together. Together, we can combat racism‚ racial discrimination‚ xenophobia and related intolerances on all fronts."

The IMC was established in August 2017, to plan the centenaries of the two heroes. This year marks 100 years since their birth.

"The IMC is working in close collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation as well as the Sisulu family to ensure that government develops a successful centenary programme," Radebe said.

Radebe announced that the national programme would be monitored by the IMC. However political and religious organisations have been encouraged to host their own activities to celebrate the revered lives of the two.

The centenary will be celebrated under two themes - 'Be the legacy' for Mandela and 'A woman of fortitude' for Sisulu.

Sisulu's centenary programme also includes an unveiling of a special orchid named after her on May 19 and A Big Debate showcase with the Fees Must Fall leadership in June.

Her official centenary month in October will have a separate programme.

The Comrades Marathon, which has been dedicated to Mandela, and the Nelson Mandela Football Challenge on September 29 are two of the highlights that form part of the Mandela centenary programme.

Tuesday marks 70 days to the Nelson Mandela centenary day, which is scheduled for July 18.

"Government calls on all South Africans and the international community to join in the centenary celebrations in their workplaces, schools, churches and civic organisations, as we reflect on the immense contribution these icons and global figures bequeathed our fledgling democracy," Radebe said.

"Ours is to build on the foundations they laid."

Read more on:    nelson mandela

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