SA commemorates struggle icon Mandela

Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of the death of South Africa’s revered former president, Nelson Mandela.

A series of events have been organised to commemorate the late struggle hero. Mandela died aged 95 at his Houghton home in Johannesburg after undergoing extensive treatment for a lung infection.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) will on Tuesday launch an exhibition called “Unthreading Mandela”, part of a project ahead of the centenary celebrations of Mandela’s birthday next year.

The Eastern Cape provincial government will host various events, including the main gathering on Tuesday to be addressed by Premier Phumulo Masualle.

Mandela was born in the village of Qunu, near Mthatha.

“Unthreading Mandela hopes to represent Mandela’s life as the ‘individual threads’ that wove Mandela’s freedom, or as it were, the narratives that make up Mandela’s story. The exhibition presents Mandela as less iconic but more human, and reveals how his extraordinary achievements were not written in the stars but borne of real, painful, complex struggles,” the NMF said in a statement.

“It reveals the lesser known threads, the untold stories and the hidden layers of life.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) president Bantu Holomisa will deliver a keynote address at the NMF commemoration on Tuesday evening. Other speakers include NMF chairperson Njabulo Ndebele, NMF CEO Sello Hatang and Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

Madiba, as he was affectionately known, is credited for leading the first democratically elected government in 1994 as white minority rule came to an end, along with the abhorred apartheid system.

The commemorations come on the back of an explosive report released Monday by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, detailing a mass misuse of funds during Mandela’s memorial services and state funeral.

Mkhwebane found that R300 million meant for social and infrastructure development was diverted from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation. The lack of preparation by the Eastern Cape provincial government opened up the floodgates for corruption and greed as officials recklessly spent millions of rands, and service providers grossly inflated prices to cash in.

Mkhwebane has instructed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to initiate Special Investigating Unit investigations into the unlawful spending of public funds.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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