The Parliament of The Republic of South Africa Celebrates the legacy of Mandela NELSON MANDELA. Our march to freedom is irreversible

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1 The Parliament of The Republic of South Africa Celebrates the legacy of Mandela NELSON MANDELA Our march to freedom is irreversible

2 Timeline of NELSON MANDELA Timeline of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 1918: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is born at Mvezo in Transkei on 18 July. 1937: Enrolls for a BA Degree at the University of Fort Hare. 1939: Expelled from Fort Hare for becoming involved in student politics. 1942: Completes his degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA). 1943: Joins the African National Congress (ANC) as an activist. 1944: Founder member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu. 1951: Elected President of the ANCYL. 1952: Establishes the first Black legal firm in South Africa with fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo, providing free or low-cost legal counsel to Black people. 1956: Mandela and another 155 political activists are accused of high treason.

3 1961: Resorts to underground operations, and initiates the formation of Umkhonto wesizwe (Spear of the Nation). 1962: Arrested and sentenced to five years imprisonment for incitement and leaving the country illegally. 1964: Rivonia Trial: Mandela and co-accused are found guilty of sabotage, and sentenced to life imprisonment. They are jailed on Robben Island. 1982: After spending 18 years on Robben Island, Mandela is transferred to Pollsmoor prison. 1990: Released after 27 years in jail. 1991: Elected President of the African National Congress (ANC). 1993: Receives the Nobel Peace Prize along with FW De Klerk. 1994: Elected and inaugurated as the first President of democratic South Africa 1999: Announces that he will not seek re-election after serving one term as President of the Republic of South Africa 2004: Announces his retirement from public life.

4 IntroductionNELSON MANDELA The 11 th of February 2010 marked 20 years since Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was released from prison. His release marked the beginning of several remarkable processes that culminated in the creation of democratic institutions in South Africa, such as the Constitution, and a democratic Parliament based on universal franchise. In the first free elections held on 27 April 1994, every adult citizen over the age of 18, regardless of race, gender, class or religion, was free to vote for their representatives in Parliament. In his State of the Nation Address, 17 February 1995, Mandela said: Whatever our critics might have to say, we can take pride in the fact that not only did we succeed in establishing our two Houses of Parliament, as required by the Constitution, we have also ensured that they play their role in the governance of our country. Highlighted below, are some of the famous quotes from Mandela s speeches that he delivered on different issues. These quotes serve as a guide to our nation, and further remind us about the legacy of Mandela.

5 On democracy Nelson Mandela has dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid, and the creation of a democratic South Africa. He believed that this would lead to peace and racial harmony in South Africa. In a statement after casting his vote on 27 April 1994, he said I cherish the idea of a new South Africa where all South Africans are equal and work together to bring about security, peace and democracy in our country. I sincerely hope that the mass media will use its powerful position to ensure that democracy is installed in this country. In his inauguration speech as President of the democratic Republic of South Africa on 10 May 1994, President Mandela said We have fought for a democratic constitution since the 1880s. Ours has been a quest for a constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations. The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender among South Africans. On nation-building: Mandela described nation-building as the most important task lying ahead of South Africa to bridge the divisions of the past. We must act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation-building, for the birth of a new world, he said at his inauguration. The former President continues to promote the process of nation-building, since it is focused on improving the lives of all South Africans and making South Africa a stable and harmonious place for all its citizens. He cherishes the expression umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu (we are people, through other people). On human rights Our county has arguably never seen a stronger advocate for human rights than Mandela. He believes that the unity and

6 reconciliation amongst South Africans can only be achieved if the basic rights of all people of South Africa are respected. During the Human Rights Day, on 21 March 1998, he pointed out that we rededicate ourselves to the defence of the human rights which are guaranteed in our Constitution, the basic law of our land and further indicated that we recall our pledge as a nation, that never again shall one be oppressed by another. On labour issues Mandela believes that workers are the key to the country s economic growth. He has always praised workers, pointing out that they are the ones who mine the minerals, and produce the exports, that fuel our growth. His appreciation for the role played by workers in the struggle for liberation is captured in many public speeches. I extend my greetings to the working class of our country. Your organised strength is the pride of our movement. You remain the most dependable force in the struggle to end exploitation and oppression, he said on being released from Victor Verster prison, on 11 February Mandela emphasized respect for the rights for workers. At a May Day Rally, on 1 May 1997 he said One of the greatest achievements of our young democracy is to ensure that the rights and interests of workers are protected as never before. Our new Constitution consolidates the gains of years of struggle by organised workers. On youth Mandela praised the heroism shown by South African youth in the struggle against oppression and their contribution in shaping a democratic nation. He recognised the challenges facing our young people and suggested solutions to overcome this. In a speech delivered during Youth Day Commemoration, on 15 June 1997 he said: Our history has forced our young people to

7 take responsibility from an early age. They became freedom fighters when they should have been playing, or at school. Now the youth of South Africa face major challenges because of the years of deprivation, violence and interrupted education. Great courage and commitment will be needed to overcome the obstacles and for our young people to fully enjoy the benefits that our fledgling democracy holds for them. On gender issues Mandela praised the strength displayed by the women of South Africa in the fight against apartheid. He believed that women were the rock-hard foundation of the struggle for freedom. The women of South Africa were subjected to more pain than anyone else during the struggle against apartheid. In his speech delivered at the Symposium for World Women s Day, on 15 October 1998, he said: It was only through the oral tradition and the culture of story-telling that many of us learnt of our proud history and value system. And it was the women who were mainly responsible for passing on our legacy This is the strength that has held the women in the country bound together in a common struggle against oppression and hunger. This is the strength that has seen women participating in their own upliftment, learning new skills and planting seeds to give their children a brighter future. On heritage Mandela believed that the respect for our diverse heritage was the key in achieving harmony and reconciliation. In a Heritage Day speech on 24 September 1997 he said: With democracy, we have the opportunity to ensure that our institutions reflects history in a way that respects the heritage of all our citizens When our museums and monuments preserve the whole of our diverse heritage, when they are inviting to the public and interact with the changes all around them, then they will strengthen our attachment to human rights, mutual respect and democracy, and help prevent these ever again being violated.

8 On HIV and AIDS Mandela believed that open discussion about HIV/AIDS was necessary to ensure an effective fight against the pandemic. Although AIDS has been a part of our lives for fifteen years or more, we have kept silent about its true presence in our midst. We have too often spoken of it as if it were someone else s problem. It is the silence that leads us, when we see all the signs in our friend s face to speak of anything else, rather than ask, Do you have AIDS? How can we help? Madiba stated in his keynote address on World Aids Day, 1 December During World Aids Day on 1 December 1994 he said: The campaign against AIDS is the task of all of us - young and old, government and community organisations, religious and traditional institutions, cultural and sporting bodies. AIDS knows no custom. It knows no colour. It knows no boundaries. We have to work together, wherever we are, to preserve our nation, our continent and humanity as a whole. Produced by the Public Education Office Parliamentary Communication Services INSPIRED BY PEOPLE P.O. Box 15, Cape Town, 8000 Telephone: (021) Facsimile: (021) This pamphlet is available in all the official languages of South Africa. On request, the pamphlet can be made available in braille

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