Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Launch of the third Nelson Mandela Day

By Karin Labuschagne 

Minister Tokyo Sexwale says the world "needs to reconcile".

Be kind to your neighbour and provide comfort", stated Nelson Mandela Trustee, Minister Tokyo Sexwale at the  launch of the third Nelson Mandela Day in Houghton on Monday.  Sexwale stated that "the world needed to reconcile as enemies and adversaries" before the true influence of former South African President, Nelson Mandela could be realized. 

According to Sexwale, that would be the legacy of Belson Mandela and the work he had done. 

Nelson Mandela Day has been commemorated since 2009 on Mandela's birthday, 18 July, to celebrate the impact that Mandela has had on the world.

Sexwale told a story of a secret meeting he had with Mandela, just after Mandela's release from Robben Island.  According to Sexwale, Mandela declared defeat of the Apartheid system and he "put a white flag in the hands of his enemies and helped them to raise it. This is what the world has seen in him and this is what Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrating."

Raymond Louw, founding member of the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF), praised Mandela for his support of press freedom and that his support enabled "journalists to do their work in the field".

Sexwale quoted Mandela as saying that "quite often the media gets it wrong", due to inexperience or not doing proper research.  Sexwale however explained that Mandela said that stories could rather be reported incorrectly, than not reported at all, and that he thus fully supports Freedom of the Press in South Africa and that "journalists should go out and fight". 

Picture courtesy of: navy.mil.za



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