South Africa: Events to mark anniversary of Mandela's death underway

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – As the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death approaches, a number of initiatives are being planned to commemorate the anti-Apartheid struggle hero.

The world statesman died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95 after years of ailing health.

On Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Remembrance walk was launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The purpose of the walk is to celebrate the life and times of Mandela as well as retrace his steps in the height of his political career.

The walk is scheduled for 13 December in Pretoria as part of retracing Mandela's last steps before his body was laid to rest at his birthplace of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.

Leading the launch were struggle veterans Andrew Malangeni, Ahmed Khathrada as well as Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

And his widow Graca Machel who addressed Tuesday’s function said “my heart is getting heavier and heavier" (as the anniversary of his death approaches).

Last week, local artist Michael Elion paid tribute to Mandela with the unveiling of a giant sculpture in Cape Town.

The sculpture is a giant set of stainless steel spectacles looking out towards Robben Island where he was incarcerated for many years.

“It sets up an axis and dialogue with our country’s history. It links us to the mind of a man whose incredible capacity to transcend enduring physical hardship, with unwavering mental fortitude and dignity, transformed the consciousness of an entire country and left a giant and lasting legacy to the world,” said Elion.

The sculpture is made from hundreds of pieces of stainless steel plates welded together and fitted with polycarbonate lenses. Weighing in at 1,200kg, this 8m x 7,5m structure will stand on the Cape Town promenade for the next two years.
-0- PANA CU/AR 11Nov2014

11 november 2014 19:05:25

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