Mandela remains symbol of hope - Zuma

2014-07-18 21:02
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela remained a symbol of hope to South Africa as it celebrated his birthday on Friday, President Jacob Zuma said.

"As we are here now, South Africans across the lengths and breadths of our country are dedicating at least 67 minutes of their time to engage in a major cleaning up exercise," Zuma said in Mvezo, Eastern Cape, according to a copy of his speech.

Zuma earlier this week called on South Africans to clean up their cities, towns, villages, and schools to make the South Africa for which Mandela made sacrifices, clean and habitable for all.

"The clean-up campaign is also designed to encourage co-operation and working together to build our country," he said.

"It is meant to enhance nation building and cohesion, while also promoting environmental awareness and pride in our surroundings no matter how humble they may be."

Zuma said Mandela had given the country hope in an oasis of hopelessness.

"He indeed belongs to the generation of our forebears, which will remain irreplaceable," he said.

"Tata represented everything good and noble about us. He was among us, but above us. He was an epitome of unity, selflessness, courage and nobility all together. He may have gone, but he will never be forgotten."

The thought of Mandela's memory inspired South Africans to be better human beings.

"When we omit doing good, it is at that very moment that we betray the memory of Madiba," the president said.

"We learn through his life that we can never wait for the right time to do good. Whatever good we can do, no matter how small, we must do it."

The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said South Africans needed to work together in remembrance of Mandela's life.

Fedusa and the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA distributed soup packs to families in need at Kalafong hospital in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, on Nelson Mandela Day.

"Though this will not make a world of difference considering the population of our country in terms of poverty and unemployment, we are hoping that this gesture is warmly received," Fedusa said.

Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July, Mandela's birthday, when people are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time and of themselves to help those less fortunate. Mandela spent 67 years of his life working for social justice.

He died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, aged 95, on 5 December. He was buried in his childhood village of Qunu on 15 December.

Read more on:    fedusa  |  nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma  |  east london

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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 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.