Follow in Mandela's footsteps

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Government has called on all South Africans and the international community to emulate the values of the first democratic President, Nelson Mandela, as the country celebrates his Centenary.

“He was a great leader who showed the world what.... [it means to be] selfless. He strived to attain peace, taught us about forgiveness, and ensured justice and equality for all,” Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said in a statement on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared 2018 the year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in his State of the Nation Address.

“As the celebrations get underway, ever person should take what they have learnt from Madiba and his approach and apply it to everyday life.

“He not only believed in his values but also conveyed them in his daily life, and we need to re-live his values to keep his dream alive of a better South Africa and to make the world a better place,” Minister Mokonyane said. 

Centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu

This year, the country also celebrates the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu, who dedicated her life to fight for the emancipation of women and the liberation of South Africa.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we remember the sacrifices women such as Albertina Sisulu made to build a democratic society which respects and celebrates the crucial role women play in all walks of life,” the GCIS said.

GCIS said Sisulu displayed great courage and is hailed for being a unifying leader during the apartheid era.

In 1956, she was instrumental in leading around 20 000 women from across South Africa to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria against carrying of passes by women. 

“Their act of defiance will forever be ingrained in the hearts and history of South Africa; it will forever be an example that can be passed on from one generation to the next.

“This same spirit of togetherness and unity – is one that women should embrace so that the fight for equality and empowerment continues,” Minister Mokonyane said.

Commemorative activities

A year-long series of awareness, educational, celebratory and commemorative activities will take place across the country, building up to a fully-fledged national centenary celebration day on Mandela’s birth date on 18 July 2018.

The main event will take place at Mvezo, Eastern Cape and will be led by President Ramaphosa.

“More details on the planned centenary events in honour of former President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu will be made available on

“Let us unite in celebrating the father and mother of our nation and help those in need, display love to each other regardless of race, age and ethnicity. By working together we move South Africa forward,” Minister Mokonyane said. –

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