Media release

Southern African Development Community on Nelson Mandela Centenary

02 March 2018

2 March 2018

Nelson Mandela Centenary – A Celebration for Africa and the world

At its meeting at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Wednesday, 28 February 2018, Cabinet echoed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s clarion call to South Africans to reaffirm a shared commitment to serve people as we continue to celebrate the centenary of the birth of former President Nelson Mandela.

This year South Africa will mark the centenary of the life our nation’s founding father Nelson Mandela under the theme: “Be the legacy”. The centenary celebration is a major milestone in the story of Madiba and our nation’s journey into freedom.

The Acting Director-General (ADG) of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Ms Phumla Williams, said: “The centenary celebration will extend across the continent and the globe as the former President was an internationally revered statesman. He was a central figure in the struggle for liberation from the unjust apartheid system to an inclusive democracy.”

Ms Williams said: “The centenary celebration provides an opportunity for Africa and the global community to celebrate the legacy of this great icon, and to reflect on how we can ensure that the ideals, principles and values that President Mandela stood for; ideals that were informed by Africa’s quest for freedom and prosperity, become a lived reality.”

The African value system of Ubuntu (Humanity) shaped Madiba’s legacy, which had a tremendous impact on his leadership and life in general. This ensured that peace, hope, humility and reconciliation was triumphant in South Africa’s struggle for freedom.

It is fitting that the first celebration of the Centenary of Nelson Mandela took place during the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2018, because African leaders emulated Madiba by introducing policies and programmes to fast-track the development of the continent.

“Africa’s future lies in Africa’s hands and we need to ‘be the legacy’,” added Ms Williams.  Government calls on all sectors of society, the international community and people from all walks of life to join our efforts to realise Madiba’s legacy where values of Ubuntu, peace, justice and selfless service are a lived reality as we journey towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous Africa.

Phumla Williams (Acting Director-General: GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139

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