Minister Dlamini Zuma’s Message on Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday

Today, Friday 18 July 2008 we join the peoples of our country, the region and indeed the entire universe in celebrating a life that epitomises the struggle for peace, democracy and justice in our country – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

We do so not to satisfy any protocol requirement but most certainly because Nelson Mandela continues to inspire hope in millions of people around the world who continue to struggle for freedom and justice.

Inspired by the ideals that motivated him, they too, know fully well that their cause like that of Nelson Mandela is just and shall one day indeed triumph over adversity and against all odds.

We ourselves who continue to strive for a better South Africa, in a better Africa and a better world, do so inspired like Nelson Mandela by none other than the commitment and dedication on the cause of humanity, freedom and justice!

We, like Nelson Mandela are assured of victory in the struggle to push back the frontiers of poverty and under-development that continue to afflict millions of our people in our country and indeed our mother continent Africa.

On the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday, we all must rededicate ourselves to deepen the struggle for the creation of a non-racial and non sexist society for which he was prepared to die- we dare not fail him! It will be tragedy for us to abandon the ideals for which Nelson Mandela sacrificed his life for, on the altar of expediency.

Even though we are physically unable to be with you in Qunu today, due to national responsibilities, we know you will continue to draw inspiration and strength from the knowledge, as you aptly stated in 1994 that as ordinary South Africans we should seek to ensure through our daily deeds to produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.

On behalf of the Ministry and Department of Foreign Affairs, management and staff, our Ambassadors and High Commissioners stationed abroad and indeed on my own behalf, may I extend our sincere Happy Birthday wish to you Tata!  And express our wish for many more happy returns.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

18 July 2008



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