Remembering Madiba through good deeds

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pretoria – Health Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla says Mandela Day should serve as a reminder of where South Africa comes from as a nation.

Speaking to SAnews on International Nelson Mandela Day at Zama-Zama informal settlement, west of Pretoria, Deputy Minister Phaahla said Madiba’s legacy should be taken forward by doing good deeds.

“Let’s take Madiba’s legacy forward by serving the less fortunate and cleaning our environment.

“For me, Mandela Day will always be a reminder to recommit myself to doing good deeds for others,” he said.

Commenting on this year’s ‘Operation Clean Up for Madiba’ – which was announced by President Jacob Zuma during the State of the Nation Address – Deputy Minister Phaahla said communities should understand the importance of keeping their environments clean.

Accompanied by officials from his department, the deputy minister joined millions of South Africans in the cleaning operation as part of celebrating Mandela Day.

Walter Nkanyezi, a Zama-Zama local, said every day should be a Mandela Day.

“Mandela liberated us,” said Nkanyezi, adding that if it were not for him, South Africa would not be where it is today.

“I thank Madiba for what he has done for us,” Nkanyezi said.

This is the first Mandela Day being observed without the world icon, who passed away in December 2013.

Mandela Day is an international annual day to honour the late former President. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

South Africans began celebrating the day by, among other things, donating food, blankets and doing good deeds.

Since Mandela Day coincides with National Imbizo Week this year, President Zuma called on citizens to devote 67 minutes of their time to clean up South Africa.

“Let us begin planning for a major clean-up of our cities, towns, townships, villages, schools and beautify every part of our country,” he said.

President Zuma took part in Operation Clean-Up at the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology in Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape.

For the past five years, South Africans been have been volunteering 67 minutes of their time to serve others. –

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