The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) joins the rest of Joburg, South Africa and people across the globe in commemorating a year since the passing of the father of democracy in the country, Nelson Mandela.
Mandela’s body on its way home to QunuA South African Defence Force gun carriage transports Mandela’s body in procession from Mthatha Airport to his final resting place in Qunu in the Eastern Cape, 14 December 2013. (Photo: www.gov.za)The Nobel Peace laureate and first President of a democratic South Africa passed away at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg on 5 December 2013, sparking an extraordinary 10 days of national mourning leading up to his burial at his ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on 15 December 2013.
The outpouring of grief was unprecedented: South Africans formed queues reminiscent of the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 in order to file past Mandela’s body for the three days it lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, while flowers, posters, messages and gifts spilt over on the pavements outside Madiba’s Joburg home, and special message books opened at South African embassies across the world overflowed.
President Jacob Zuma, in a statement issued ahead the anniversary, thanked South Africans for the “profound and dignified” send-off the nation accorded Tata Madiba.
“People from all over the world joined South Africans in mourning the passing of one of the greatest statesman ever produced by Africa,” Zuma said. “The world converged in our country and joined us as we bade farewell to this remarkable global statesman.
“As we remember Madiba this week, let us do so through recommitting ourselves to advancing his vision of unity, reconciliation, global peace, development, prosperity; and a better life for all South Africans.”
IN TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA
On Thursday, 4 December, the Nelson Mandela Foundation opened a special multimedia exhibition experience, In Tribute to Nelson Mandela, at the foundation’s Centre of Memory in Johannesburg. The exhibition features a selection of the messages and contributions received from across the globe following Madiba’s passing, as well as the SA National Defence Force gun carriage that carried Madiba’s coffin from Mthatha Airport to his burial place in Qunu.
The exhibition runs until the end of February 2015, and members of the public are free to visit the Centre of Memory at 107 Central Avenue, Houghton, Johannesburg from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 2pm on weekends to reflect on and experience Madiba’s life and times.
The Centre of Memory will also host open days from 5 to 15 December, at the same times as the above, to allow the public to explore the centre.
Other events lined up for the anniversary include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mandela statue at the Union Buildings, and an official commemorative event for invited guests at Freedom Park in Pretoria.
The Mandela Legacy Cup, starting at Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium at 3pm on 5 December, will see the Springboks taking on the Proteas in an exhibition cricket match, with special performances from Johnny Clegg and Prime Circle, and public team signings to honour Madiba. (Bookings: www.ticketpro.co.za)
Artists in Tribute to Madiba, a special session of poets, writers, performers and musicians led by Njabulo Ndebele, chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will take place at the Foundation’s Centre of Memory from 11am to 1pm on 6 December (open to the public).
And the inaugural Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk through the streets of Pretoria, starting at Freedom Park and ending at the Union Buildings, will take place from 7am to 12 midday on 13 December. (Registrations close on 8 December – click here for more info.)
South Africans who wish to support the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in keeping Madiba’s legacy alive can SMS Madiba to 42607 to donate R30 to the foundation.