The Executive Mayor for the City of Johannesburg, Clr Mpho Parks Tau led a special Council Meeting which paid tribute to the former President, Nelson Mandela this week (09 December 2013).

The City’s politicians across the political divide expressed their deepest condolences to his family and acknowledged the opportunities he had, serving the nation and the City.

“Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was more than a political leader or the President of our country for an all too brief five year period. He nurtured the struggle for our freedom; inspired a continent; served as the conscience of the globe and, eventually, through his words and his actions, transformed a generation,” the Executive Mayor said.

Amongst the distinguished guests who attended the Council Meeting, was a young guest speaker, Kimberly Malope, a 12 year old Grade 6 learner at Laerskool van Riebeeckpark from Kempton Park. The young motivational speaker, a poet and an actor, addressed the Council Meeting – she is the first young person to address Council ever..

Kimberley, who has achieved more than kids her age, was a torch bearer during the ANC centenary celebrations in June 2013, has in the past delivered speeches to parliamentarians, members of public in general and students older than herself.

“I have taken it upon myself to travel from one province to another, educating young girls about the use of sanitary towels, hygiene, HIV and AIDS, teenage pregnancy and the importance of education,” she said.

The young activist was also part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the Dialogue with the former US President, Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton on 08 July 2013 and also for Women in Dialogue, hosted by Dr Mo Ebrahim, an event which formed part of the 11th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture series in Freedom Park, Pretoria on 18 August 2013.

She is the face and ambassador of Sandis’ Ubuntu Foundation in Soweto. “I celebrate my birthdays in orphanages, instead of receiving gifts, I give away my clothes and toys to the orphanage,” she says.

Her community outreach work did not go unnoticed. On 24 August 2013, she received an honorary award presented by Ms Joan Madibeng Ramakgoshi, the former Miss SA 2003 at The Real Women Architects of Society, for a making difference in the community.

The memory of Nelson Mandela will live on in Johannesburg through the landmarks named after him – the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge, the Nelson Mandela Square, and his homes in Orlando West and Houghton. The City of Johannesburg will continue to build on the legacy he bestowed on the City.

Through the years, Johannesburg has responded by conferring Madiba as a Freeman of the City – the Freedom of the City is the highest honour that City can bestow to any of its citizens.

Madiba, a humble, un-equaled resident and father of the nation, is also a Nobel Peace laureate Prize, holder of the national government award, Ikhamanga; and 260 doctorates from various world universities, grand orders and other global prizes.

“I still remember with fondness his remarks when we conferred the Freedom of the City on Tata Mandela in July 2004. With that remarkable sense of humour and twinkle in his eye, he recalled an historic practice which entitled recipients of such honours to drive their cattle through the main street of the City. I, therefore, firmly believe that the most profound way in which the City of Johannesburg can honour the legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is to continue following his example and proceed with the fundamental transformation of our urban shape and landscape,” the Executive Mayor said.

“As Joburgers we were privileged to provide a home for South Africa’s most illustrious son of our soil. His legacy will endure. His memory will never fade,” concluded Mayor Tau.