South Africa: Eight months after his death, Mandela remains front page news (News Analysis by Craig Urquhart, PANA Correspondent)

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Eight months have passed since the death of former world statesman Nelson Mandela, but he remains front-page news in South Africa and many other countries.

Over the past week, issues relating to his death have thrust his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela into a legal spat over his will while his lasting legacy continues to be felt through various high-profile initiatives.

On Saturday, thousands of cyclists took part in a Freedom ride in the city of Cape Town. The 27 kilometre route symbolising the 27 years he was incarcerated in prison for his fight against Apartheid and the route saw cyclists riding from an affluent suburb through an impoverished township before finishing in the city centre.

A similar event was staged in Johannesburg and Soweto last month, and the organisers told PANA that the success of both rides had ensured that it will now be an annual event.

Also on Saturday, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet addressed the 12th Nelson Mandela Lecture in Cape Town. It was the first Nelson Mandela Lecture delivered since his death in December 2013.

Bachelet's talk was themed 'Building social cohesion through active citizenship' and took place at the Cape Town City Hall where the prisoner-turned-president delivered his first speech following his release from jail in 1990.

On Tuesday, residents of KwaZulu-Natal commemorated the arrest of Mandela on 5 August, 1962 in the town of Howick. He was subsequently charged with treason and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Provincial Premier Senzo Mchunu marked the occasion by calling on more than 20,000 civil servants in various government departments across the province to do their work in line with the values of Mandela.

“As we commemorate this day we are reminding civil servants in all public institutions that they have a responsibility to live according to the values of Mandela. Mandela was patriotic and loyal to the country's Constitution.

"When we talk about being loyal to the Constitution of the Republic and its people, it is when we are able to use government as an instrument to transform the lives of the people.

"Importantly, it is when we all understand that ours is a modern government founded on the will of the people. It is the people who must taste the fruits of democracy which Mandela fought for,” Mchunu said.

Despite all the goodwill towards South Africa’s favourite son, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela this week found it necessary to challenge his will by launching a legal claim to his rural home in Qunu.

However, royal spokesman Daludumo Mtirara said she has no claim to his estate. He added that  the land in Qunu on which the house was constructed was given to Mandela as a token of appreciation for the role he played during the liberation struggle.

Another woman, made headlines a week ago when she stripped naked and hugged a statue of Mandela in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. She managed to flee before being arrested.

In other developments, the city of Vancouver has announced that the 3rd Biennial Kwame Nkrumah International Conference, which will be held from 20-22 August at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, will be dedicated to Mandela.

A special Tribute to Nelson Mandela will be held on the opening day of the conference to honour Mandela’s life and work and celebrate 20 years of South African independence.

During his extraordinary life, Nelson Mandela became a moral beacon for all mankind and, despite his death, his lasting legacy will keep his name in the spotlight for years to come.
-0- PANA CU/AR 10Aug2014

10 august 2014 12:16:44

xhtml CSS