This year South Africa marks 28 years since former President Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He was released on 11 February 1990 after spending 27 years in prison. Upon his release, he was welcomed by hundreds of supporters outside the Victor-Verster prison and made his way to Cape Town’s City Hall where he addressed a crowd of about 50 000 people.
The release of Madiba also marked the start of the negotiations to end apartheid and was the first step towards building a country founded on the principles of constitutionalism. To commemorate the 28th anniversary of Madiba’s release, government will host an event in Cape Town to remind South Africans of the ideals Madiba stood for and for which he was “prepared to die for”. The event will also be used to encourage residents of Western Cape to reduce their water usage as the city is facing severe drought.
Other provinces that are facing drought include the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, as well as some parts of the Free State and Kwazulu-Natal.The 28th anniversary takes place during the year in which former President Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 years on 18 July 2018. The centenary will be used to celebrate the life of a selfless leader, and a struggle stalwart whose ethos and values inspired many people around the world to join the fight against any injustices wherever they occurred.
The centenary which will be held under the theme “Be the legacy”, will extend across the continent and the globe as the former President was one of the world’s most revered statesmen. He was a central figure in the struggle for liberation from the unjust apartheid system to an inclusive democracy.
The 100 year anniversary is also an opportunity to recommit ourselves to living the legacy of Madiba. Throughout his life Madiba inspired people, and his legacy continues to guide us on our path to move our country forward. He showed us that love can conquer hate and that we should help those who are less fortunate in our communities.