Cape Town dedicates year to Mandela

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By Natasha Bezuidenhout

Cape Town - The City has declared 2013 the year that Cape Town will be honouring former president Nelson Mandela.

Mayor Patricia de Lille made the announcement at a full council meeting on Thursday.

“I believe that we should reaffirm the values by which we govern and (the five pillars) upon which we have built this city… the opportunity city, the safe city, the caring city, the inclusive city and the well-run city,” she said.

“Those values are informed by our drive to create a city of economic opportunity that addresses the imbalances of the past through a commitment to reconciliation, redress and diversity.

“We believe that there is no greater embodiment of these values than the former president and father of the nation, Tata Madiba.

“And so we declare that to honour Tata Madiba in his lifetime we are making 2013 officially known as the year that Cape Town honours Nelson Mandela.”

De Lille added that it was in Cape Town that Mandela had been unjustly imprisoned for his beliefs.

“It was from the city hall that he gave his first address as a free man. It was from here where he presided over the first democratic parliament that ushered in a new constitutional era of rights and dignity. It was here where he established the Nelson Mandela Rhodes Foundation almost 10 years ago... it was here that he received the freedom of the city.

“Considering this rich and complex relationship and our commitment to furthering his ideals, the city is committed to spending the year ensuring that his values and commitment to our future are woven into all of our work.”

De Lille said a programme would be unfolded throughout the year, reaching out to citizens in a variety of ways, with full public consultation and engagement.

“Among the highlights will be the installation of a multimedia exhibition reflecting Mr Mandela’s relationship with Cape Town, at the civic centre and city hall.

“In all, we have, as our aim, the objectives of honouring this great man in his lifetime, spreading his legacy.

“I believe that perhaps one of the greatest examples we have to live up to is the example of Madiba’s leadership, one of the finest leaders of our age. His values on unity, compassion and humility act as a moral compass for us.”

Councillor Anwar Adams of the PAC, however, accused De Lille of trying to garner votes by using Madiba’s name.

“The Struggle was fought by many people such as Steve Biko who died in the Struggle and were not showered with accolades. Maybe you are hoping to garner more votes by Madiba.”

De Lille responded that the Struggle was fought by many young men and women. “It is a fact that Tata Madiba is a world leader, an icon that is well respected. Let’s not judge.”

natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

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