Media release

Cabinet Statement on occasion of former President Nelson Mandela's birthday

18 July 2008

18 July 2008

Dear Tata Madiba,

On behalf of the South African government, the Cabinet wishes to express its hearty congratulations to you on the occasion of celebrating two critical moments in your life: the 90th birthday and the 10th wedding anniversary. We are indeed pleased to join you in celebrating the precious gifts of life and love.

As the first president of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa, you laid a solid foundation for the emergence of our democratic government that continues to serve our nation with pride. You have left us a rich legacy from which Government abundantly draws inspiration as it works for reconstruction and development, economic prosperity and national unity.

Your vision has implanted in our society the seeds of social cohesion and national reconciliation to which posterity will look back with awe and admiration. From your exemplary leadership, marked by uprightness and commitment to the cause of justice for all, we have come to learn the virtues of forgiveness, reconciliation and tolerance.

Unstintingly, you have shared with us pearls of wisdom, virtues of resilience and the rewards of irrepressible commitment to freedom and equality, all of which you have graciously put to the service of humanity. We thank you.

Your life continues to inspire all of us to work for a better world, freed from the strangulation of poverty, hunger and oppression of any form in human society. On this occasion, we rededicate ourselves to the ideals and values for which you have stood and continue to uphold. More importantly, we wish to thank you for who you are and for what you have done for our people.

As you take time to celebrate your life and your relationship, we wish you and your wife, Graça, joy and happiness on this auspicious occasion.

Siyavuyisana nawe. Sikunqwenelela usuku olumnandi kunye nosapho lwakho. Happy birthday, Madiba!!!

With sincerest regards,

Frank Chikane
Director-General and Secretary to Cabinet

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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