Mandela strived for peace in the world: Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says striving for peace in the world is an ideal that the late former President Nelson Mandela stood for.

In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa says on Madiba’s birthday today, it’s important to remember that he sought to see an end to conflicts everywhere, and wanted a true international fellowship of humankind.

Ramaphosa says South Africa’s experience in negotiating an end to apartheid has been used in
Northern Ireland, Palestine, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Eswatini, the DRC, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and most recently, in Sudan.

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day”, a day to recognise and salute the former South African President’s contribution to the pursuit of peace and freedom.

Mandela statues

The two Nelson Mandela statues will be unveiled on Tuesday in Mthatha and Qunu in the Eastern Cape. These were created and erected at a cost of R3.3 million.

The CEO of the Nelson Mandela Museum, Vuyani Booi says these statues are a symbolic representation of the former statesman’s struggles and achievements.

Booi says South Africa has a right to celebrate the achievements and sacrifices of Nelson Mandela. He was responding to questions being raised about the cost and if that money could not have been utilised better.

“The purpose is to attract international tourists to these local spaces, when we put up statues. The purpose is to ensure we have domestic tourists going to Qunu and spend money there. The statues should be looked at as catalysts of local economic development.”

The United Nations in South Africa, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, has developed a Quotes Booklet which matches Mandela’s famous sayings aligned to each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Nelson Muffuh speaks with Sakina Kamwendo.