South Africa: South Africa marks second anniversary of Mandela's death

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - Saturday marks the second anniversary of the death of world statesman Nelson Mandela with millions of South Africans reflecting on his extraordinary legacy. The prisoner-turned-president who steered the nation away from a full-blown race-war died at the age of 95 at his Johannesburg home on 5 December, 2013.

Over the past week, Mandela’s life has been celebrated with prayer meetings, festivals and other gatherings.

On Thursday, Prince Harry presented Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, with a photograph that showed him honoring the nation's late leader by planting a South African flag in the South Pole. “I was fortunate enough to meet Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) a number of years ago, and I have treasured that memory ever since,” he said at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The foundation has also hosted a moving tribute called "Letters from Mandela" which reflects on his writings. Letters from Mandela aims to find some of the warmest moments of Mandela - the man, the father, the son, the comrade and the son of the African soil," the foundation said.

In his birthplace of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, a service was attended members of his family, the provincial government and local residents. To mark the 27 years he spent in prison and his age when he died, organisers released 27 doves and lit 95 candles.

Cape Town’s St George's Cathedral will mark the anniversary of Mandela's death with an evening prayer service on Sunday.

And next weekend, the second Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk will be held in Pretoria. The walk ends at the Union Buildings where the Nobel Laureate was sworn in as South Africa’s first democratically elected leader in 1994.

Mandela’s legacy continues to be felt around the world. Elementary schoolchildren in the United States will soon be given the opportunity to learn about his remarkable life. A children’s book based on his childhood is set to be included in the school curriculum around the country.

The book, titled “Nelson Mandela: the Boy Called Troublemaker”, looks at his youth, the lessons he learnt and how he overcame enormous difficulties to achieve success. The best-selling biography was written by South African-born children’s books author Ellie Crowe, and was published in December 2013.

The Official Nelson Mandela Opus is also expected to be published soon. The giant book  is a collaboration between publishing house Opus Media, marketing company Matchworld, and Africa Rising, a company founded by Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba Mandela, to promote a positive image of Africa through print and film.

Those who have told their stories, either through contributions or interviews, include President Jacob Zuma; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former President F.W. de Klerk and several people who were imprisoned with Mandela on Robben Island. The Opus is edited by award-winning journalist Ryland Fisher with picture editing by Benny Gool, who has recorded the Mandela story for more than 20 years.

And Hublot watchmaker has paid tribute to Mandela with the unveiling of the Classic Fusion House of Mandela.

It is crafted from 18k King Gold and the dial carries the totem of the Mandela family. “It is an honour for us to have been able to create this piece as a tribute to such an important figure as Nelson Mandela, who has made a lasting mark on the history of humanity,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot.  The special edition piece is limited to only 95 pieces, symbolising Mandela's 95 years.

Mandela’s grandson Mandla said South Africans must continue to build on his legacy. "We dare not fail his legacy and we dare not compromise the future well-being, stability and peace that our nation requires to achieve the fullness of our potential," he said in a statement.

"We draw inspiration from the many beautiful memories that we treasure - the twinkle in the eyes of an innocent child, the smile of encouragement shared with an ageing and fragile mother, the warmth with which he held the calloused hands of a farm worker, the words of solace to the grieving and suffering, and the hearty chuckle with friends and loved ones."
-0- PANA CU/MA 5Dec2015

05 december 2015 16:18:38

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