Message from President Zuma to Former President Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 93rd Birthday
From the moment Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela strode out of prison on the 11th of February 1990, we knew that South Africa would be a different place.
People across the globe were mesmerized by his wisdom, humility, patriotism and his capacity to forgive.
He showed us that despite the divisive racial oppression and hardships that this nation had gone through, it is not only possible, but necessary to embrace one another and to reconcile the South African people.
As the first President of a free and democratic South Africa, he laid the foundation for a truly non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
He laid the foundation for a solid constitutional democracy where the rights of citizens are supreme and protected. He laid the foundation for all of us to work tirelessly to improve the quality of life of all our people.
We have achieved a lot, but we must still work further to eradicate poverty and improve especially the lives of children, because Madiba loves them so much.
Most importantly, we must spread love, ubuntu, humility and selflessness around us.
Tata Madiba dedicated 67 years of his life to fighting for the rights of all. In celebrating this selfless contribution, we are joined by the whole world, as the 18th of July has been recognized by the United Nations as Nelson Mandela International Day.
To celebrate Madiba's life, let each one of us, pledge to make South Africa an even better place in every possible way.
Happy Birthday Madiba! We love you!
Statement issued by The Presidency, July 18 2011
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