Provincial party leaders have hoisted the national flag in the Cape Town CBD as part of Mandela Day celebrations.

International Nelson Mandela Day is the day to mark the struggle icon’s birthday, but it’s now the day where everyone is asked to do good for humanity in remembrance of his selfless service.

For political parties, it’s a day where they reflect whether their leadership still exhibits the spirit of the late former statesman.

In the video below, political parties reflect on Mandela’s legacy:

As part of celebrating Mandela Month, the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced that this year’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture will be delivered by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres on Saturday.

The appropriateness of the choice of the guest speaker is also a stark reminder of the time Mandela consumed at platforms of the multilateral body in pursuit of South Africa’s foreign policy.

Speaking as president of the African National Congress (ANC) at the UN in 1993 about his country’s desired foreign policy, Mandela said, “South Africa’s future foreign relations will be based on our belief that human rights should be the core concern of international relations, and we are ready to play a role in fostering peace and prosperity in the world we share with the community of nations”.

As head of state, Mandela seamlessly and effortlessly adapted both soft and hard power diplomacies to achieve this foreign policy objective. Under Mandela, South Africa’s diplomats in 1995 facilitated key agreements among well-known nuclear powers and the developing world for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Therefore, other areas in its foreign policy for which South Africa was applauded included the non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons, including landmines. The government viewed this as an extension of its commitment to social justice, human rights and democracy.