Panafrican News Agency

Zuma on the ropes as ANC marks Mandela's centenary

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Sunday officially launched the centennial celebrations which are being held in honour of former president Nelson Mandela.

The prisoner-turned-world statesman who died in 2013 would have turned 100 in July and Sunday marks 28 years since his historic release from prison.

On the afternoon of 11 February 1990, Mandela addressed a global television audience of hundreds of millions from the Cape Town City Hall. Four years later, the Nobel Laureate swept into office on a ticket of racial reconciliation.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa was welcomed at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Sunday as part of activities to mark the 28th anniversary of Mandela‘s release from prison.

Reverend Michael Weeder acknowledged the political turmoil in the country, following President Jacob Zuma’s reluctance to vacate office. PANA reports that he is widely expected to step down within the next day or two.

“We're heading to a new beginning, new moments, new challenges to become better than we were. Let's see this past that's behind us as injury time. And now we come back on the field and we're giving our best and are recommitted. Because we can. Because we've been in troubled times before and we did overcome,” Weeder said as Ramaphosa smiled.

On Saturday, the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha celebrated the anniversary of Mandela’s release with a ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation this week unveiled an orange and vermilion rose named after Africa’s most famous political leader. The Mandela rose will be sold locally and internationally and proceeds will go to the foundation.

-0- PANA CU/AR 11Feb2018