World marks Nelson Mandela International Day, as icon turns 95

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) - As the world marks the 2013 Nelson Mandela International Day Thursday (18 July), South African President Jacob Zuma has said the thoughts of all his compatriots are focused on the ''rich legacy he has given us as South Africans and the world''.

''President Jacob Zuma wishes all the people of South Africa and the international community a most productive, reconciliatory and reconstructive Nelson Mandela Day as the country prepares to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to nation-building activities...18 July,'' he said in a statement released by presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj ahead of the Day.

“Let us return Madiba’s sacrifices and contributions through our own efforts to build a better society. Make Every Day A Mandela Day,” the President said, in reference to the theme for this special month: “Take Action, Inspire Change. Make Every Day a Mandela Day".

This year's observance of the Mandela Day has taken on an added significance because it marks Mandela's 95th birthday, a landmark that looked almost impossible only a few weeks ago when the illness of the global icon took a turn for the worse.

Mandela has been in a Pretoria hospital since 8 June for the treatment of a recurring lung infection.

Several times since then, South Africans and the rest of the world had feared the worst, based on by reports emanating from the hospital.

Individuals and groups have converged at the hospital to pray for Mandela and extol his timeless virtues, while many within and outside South Africa have continued to expressed their support for the country's first black President, who spent 27 years in jail for treason.

Today, while Mandela remained in critical but stable condition, indications are that his health has continued to improve, to such an extent that former South African President has said he might even be released to recuperate at home.

The message of hope strengthened many of his countrymen and women and prepared them for the celebration of the Day.

PANA reports that the Day has its roots in the 2009 declaration by South Africa of 18 July - the birthday of the man fondly called Madiba - as Mandela Day

The same year, the UN declared the day as International  Nelson Mandela Day (or Mandela Day), to be observed globally every year.

Behind Mandela Day is the message that the anti-apartheid fought for social justice for 67 years, hence everyone is being asked to commit 67 minutes of their time to nation-building activities. This is one of the events marking the Day.

“In 2009 we declared July 18 – the birthday of our beloved former President Nelson Mandela – as Mandela Day. We declared this day in honour of Madiba to inspire all of us to take action personally to help change the world for the better and create a sustainable movement for good in South Africa and abroad.

''The United Nations honoured our country enormously by also declaring the 18th as International Nelson Mandela Day,'' President Zuma said.
-0- PANA SEG 18July2013

18 july 2013 00:07:37

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