Mandela's actions should be a guide to us all
Note to editors: These are remarks made by DA Parliamentary Leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, during her visit to the Othandweni Family Centre in Soweto, Gauteng today. The DA leadership team spent time reading to the children of the home, playing games with them and helping the staff to clean the facilities.
Good morning everyone,
Today is a very special day as we celebrate the 95th birthday of our iconic president, Nelson Mandela.
As a younger man Nelson Mandela gave up his career in order to take up the fight against apartheid and racial injustice.
In so doing, he sacrificed his own freedom.
At the dawn of our young democracy, President Mandela became the custodian of our new constitution. He demonstrated the political will, courage and humanity which set the tone for reconciliation and forged a spirit of shared nationhood that is still with us today.
As South Africans, we are blessed to have him as the example of an elder whose life is an inspiration and a guide to us all.
As we celebrate our iconic President's birthday, we also honour the spirit of public service on Mandela Day. The 67 minutes of public service we all embark upon on Mandela Day symbolize the 67 years of his life that our president spent fighting for the humanity of all South Africans. His journey was one of self-sacrifice to improve the lot of all his people.
Above all, this day is a reminder of all the good which can be achieved when we put others before ourselves.
We cannot all be Nelson Mandela but we can all strive to improve the lot of our fellow citizens. These acts together are a force for the reconciliation he has strived for during his life, and they alter our humanity for the good.
I am privileged to be able to give my 67 minutes to the Othandweni Family Care Centre in Soweto today. I can immediately see why this centre has been named "Place of Love."
My visit to Othandweni has been deeply moving. It is not easy to manage a centre that cares for the needs of 90 children, while at the same time striving to provide them with a home environment which caters for their physical, spiritual, emotional and educational needs. Caring for a child is quite possibly the greatest responsibility any person can have.
When I look around Othandweni, I see the needs of all these precious children fulfilled by a dedicated team of men and women for whom public service is a way of life. It is through their selflessness and dedication that we can see how "every day is a Mandela Day".
On behalf of my party, the Democratic Alliance, I wish to thank you for the work you do for the children of Othandweni. Your work is of the noblest calling and it is infinite in its generosity. It is work of which I have no doubt that Tata Mandela would be proud.
To President Mandela, we say:
Happy Birthday, Madiba
Unwele olude kuwe, Tata
Issued by the DA, July 18 2013
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