/ 28 March 2011

Mandela Day 2011 launched

“Nelson Mandela International Day” was launched by a panel of schoolchildren on Monday in the absence of the recuperating former president.

Foundation spokesperson Sello Hatang said a decision was made ahead of the launch not to mention Madiba’s health to avoid it overshadowing the event.

Madiba was said to have asked not to be made the centre of the launch.

Monday’s launch, held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s premises in Houghton saw the children, from various high schools in Gauteng, give their views on what the day means to them and how it should be commemorated.

The children called for individuals and communities to make Mandela Day an everyday initiative to do good for the underprivileged.

The foundation also showcased its social network pages on Twitter and Facebook, listed as “Centre of Memory”.

Mandela was South Africa’s first democratically elected president and the first black person to hold the post.

He spent 27 years in prison for his role in the struggle to bring down the apartheid government and is regarded globally as an example of forgiveness and reconciliation. — Sapa