Monday, 9 December 2013

US President Obama is close to land in South Africa

Almost 70 heads of state and 10 former heads of state are expected to  arrive  in South Africa to pay their respects to former president Nelson Mandela.  

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation the  world leaders will travel with their own security detail but will have to work closely with local authorities. 

“Its like the whole world is literally coming to South Africa because the department is even  expecting the number to grow'.

 said  Department of International Relations spokesperson  Clayson Monyela 

The world's major organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the World Bank will also be represented.

Apparently President Obama and the US delegation is close to AFB Waterkloof. a handful of buses are parked in the airbase parking lot and Tshwane Metro Cops have been posted to the exit intersection.

Air Force officials arming themselves with weed-eaters to neaten up AFB entrance.


Serious logistical plans have been put in place for tomorrow's memorial at the FNB Stadium.

City of Johannesburg’s executive director of transport Lisa Seftel says roads around the stadium have already been cordoned off.

The Department of International Relations said it is hard at work preparing for the service which is expected to be among the largest gatherings of world leaders in history.

This follows a weekend which saw South Africans flocking to various places of worship to share in a day of prayer and reflection for Madiba. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Obama to attend Mandela funeral services

US President Barak  Obama will travel to South Africa next week to attend the funeral service  of world icon Nelson Mandela, the White House said Friday.
"President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
However Carney did not could not disclose whether  Obama would attend a large memorial service on Dec. 10 or a private burial service on Dec. 15, or both.
"We'll have further updates on timing and logistics as they become available," Carney said.
The services are included in a ten-day mourning period in South Africa, where Mandela waged a successful battle against the country's apartheid government and became its first black president.
Obama has directed that American flags be lowered to half-staff through Monday in honor of the freedom fighter who died Thursday at age 95.
In a brief eulogy on Thursday, Obama -- the first African-American president in U.S. history -- said that "I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life."
Obama issued a written proclamation saying that "the United States has lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice, and human dignity -- Nelson Mandela is no longer with us, he belongs to the ages."
Mandela "transformed South Africa -- and moved the entire world," Obama wrote. "His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings -- and countries -- can change for the better."
The resolution said: "While we mourn his loss, we will forever honor Nelson Mandela's memory. He left behind a South Africa that is free."

Staement on the Arrangements for the laying to rest of former President Nelson Mandela

Compatriots and friends around the world,
We meet on the second day of the passing of our beloved founding President of a free and democratic South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela.
We sincerely thank all South Africans for the dignified manner in which they have responded to the monumental loss of this international icon who was a symbol of reconciliation, unity, love, human rights and justice in our country and the world.
We thank the Heads of State and Government, international organisations and eminent persons around the world who continue to send messages of condolence and support to the family and all South Africans.
We announced yesterday that the Former President will be accorded a State Funeral. He will be laid to rest on the 15th of December, in Qunu in the Eastern Cape province.
We should all work together to organise the most befitting funeral for this outstanding son of our country and the father of our young nation.

We have declared Sunday, 8th of December as a national day of prayer and reflection.
We call upon all our people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and in their homes for prayer services and meditation, reflecting on the life of Madiba and his contribution to our country and the world.
The main activities of the national week of mourning are as follows;
The official memorial service will be held on the 10th of December at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
From the 11th to the 13th of December, the remains of our beloved Madiba will lie in state at the seat of government, the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he served as the first President of this young democracy. During these days, official memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions.
Once again we thank all South Africans for the dignity, respect and the support that has been provided to the Mandela family, from the period of Madiba's illness to his eventual passing.
The outpouring of love that we experienced locally and abroad was unprecedented.
It demonstrates the calibre of leader that was Madiba.
We will always love Madiba for teaching us that it is possible to overcome hatred and anger in order to build a new nation and a new society.
We will spend the week mourning his passing.
We will also spend it celebrating a life well lived, a life that we must all emulate for the betterment of our country and Africa.

Obituary: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013

It is with deep sadness that the Government has learnt of the passing of the father of South Africa’s democracy – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 5 December 2013.

He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the 5th of December 2013.
The man who was to become one of the world's greatest icons was born in Mvezo, Transkei on 18 July 1918, to Nongaphi Nosekeni and Henry Gadla Mandela. His father was the key counsellor/advisor to the Thembu royal house.

After his father's death in 1927, the young Rolihlahla became the ward of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu nation.

 It was at the Thembu royal homestead that his personality, values and political views were shaped. There can be no doubt that the young man went on to bring about some of the most significant and remarkable changes in South African history and politics.

It is through Mandela that the world cast its eyes on South Africa and took notice of the severe and organized repression of black South Africans. 

Yet it was also through Mandela that the world would learn the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness and the beauty of reconciliation. Indeed, the story of Nelson Mandela is so much the story of South Africa.

When he was only 25 years old, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress. His political career would span decades more – as he himself said: "The struggle is my life." The young Mandela also qualified and practiced as a lawyer.

Together with Oliver Tambo he opened the first black legal practice in Johannesburg.
Mandela married Evelyn Nomathamsanqa Mase in 1945.

 They were married for fourteen years and had four children: Thembekile (1946), Makaziwe (1947), who died at nine months, Makgatho (1951) and Makaziwe (1954). The couple divorced in 1958.

He was instrumental in the formation of the radical African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the 1940s which was determined to change the face of politics. 

Mandela was elected the league's National Secretary in 1948 and President in 1952.
Much of the years that followed saw Mandela deeply involved in activism, rallying for political change against the increasingly aggressive apartheid government.

 He was a key player in the ANC's Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952 and the Treason Trial in 1961.

 During this time he was incarcerated several times under the apartheid laws and banned from political activity.

 Realising that the ANC needed to prepare for more intensive struggle, he became an instrumental force behind the formation of a new section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), as an armed nucleus with a view to preparing for armed struggle.

 Mandela was commander in chief of MK.
On 14 June 1958 Nelson and Winnie Madikizela were married at a local Bizana church. They had two children, Zenani (1958) Zindziswa (1960). In April 1992 they were separated and finally divorced in 1996.

He left the country in 1962 and traveled abroad to arrange guerilla training for members of Umkhonto weSizwe.

 On his return to South Africa he was arrested for illegal exiting the country and incitement to strike. Mandela decided to represent himself in court.

While on trial, Mandela was charged with sabotage in the Rivonia Trial. This is his famous statement from the dock made in 1964: "I have fought against White domination, and I have fought against Black domination.

 I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

 It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

In the same year Mandela and the other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial and sent to Robben Island, near Cape Town. 

While in prison, Mandela rejected offers made by his jailers to be released on condition that he renounced violence. "Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Only free men can negotiate," he said. He served a total of 27 years in prison for his conviction to fight apartheid and its injustices.

Released on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier.

 In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation's National Chairperson.

In a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit, Nelson Mandela accepted the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (along with FW de Klerk) on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land.

The era of apartheid formally came to an end on the April 27, 1994, when Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in his life – along with his people. However, long before that date it had become clear, even before the start of negotiations at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, that the ANC was increasingly charting the future of South Africa.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inaugurated as President of a democratic South Africa on 10 May 1994.
This world icon worked tirelessly even after the achievement of democracy in South Africa to continue improving lives. 

Even as he retired from politics, his attention shifted to social issues such as HIV and AIDs and the wellbeing of the nation's children. 

As a testimony to his sharp political intellect, wisdom and unrelenting commitment to make the world a better place, Mandela formed the prestigious group called The Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.
Mr Mandela is survived by his wife Gra├ža, three daughters and 18 grandchildren.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Conflicting reports on Mandela's health

Malawi High Commission in South Africa has dismissed reports that its citizens are stuck at the Lindela Repatriation Center  in South Africa after being arrested for illegally staying in the country.

The High Commission  was reacting to story which was broadcasted by the local  radio station ZBS that ABOUT 600 Malawians are stuck at Lindela Camp awaiting repatriation.

In reacting to the news the High Commission  official a Mr. Makumba  Malawi government  in connection with the Ministry of Home Affairs in South Africa are doing their level best to speed up the deportation process.

Makumba alleged that all Malawians being held at the Lindela Repatriation Center  are well taken care by the South Africa government  and the deportation process is in progress.

He further  said currently there close to 961 Malawians awaiting to be deported by the end of this month 
“  In total they were 961 Malawians waiting to be deported and from the month of  November South Africa government has deported   300 out of the 961” said Makumba  

Responding to the question as to what the Malawi government is doing to speed up the deportation process Makumba   said according to the law   it is the South African government which is mandated to transport  the illegal immigrants and the embassy only focus on humanitarian issues to make sure that  its citizens are well taken care.

He further disclosed that compared to last year few  Malawians have been deported  in 2013.

“ Last year all most 3000 Malawians were deported in South Africa by the month of December but only 961 has been deported this year.” Makumba said

He said currently the South Africa government is waiting for funds to finalize the deportation of remaining 661.  
Thousand of Malawians flock to South Africa searching for greener pastures and currently neither Malawi government nor South Africa have the proper figure as to how many Malawians are residing in South Africa