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Author : Jackson Mthembu

Comrade Nelson Mandela`s 95th Birthday

17 July 2013

Tomorrow, July 18th, 2013, the world will pay homage to and celebrate 95 years of a life well lived, dedicated to the liberation of South Africans and people all over the world. As we once again rejoice with Comrade Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his birthday, the world celebrates a life committed to the service of humanity. The African National Congress wishes President Mandela a restful and joyous 95th birthday. This special day, 5 years shy of a century of a worthy life, presents an opportunity not only to reflect on his life, sacrifices and the role he still occupies as an international icon of our struggle, father of our nation and a unifier, most importantly it provides an opportunity to emulate this life well lived.

Comrade Nelson Mandela continues to be an inspiration and a beacon of hope to the African National Congress, the people of South Africa and the world. His life remains inextricably linked to the struggle of the people of South Africa for freedom, liberty and dignity. As founding member and later President of the African National Congress Youth League, Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign and first soldier and later Commander-in-Chief of Umkhonto weSizwe, President Nelson Mandela, together with his comrades, played a central role agitating for a society based on the ideals of the National Democratic Revolution of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. That he was impatient and, in his many capacities, led the call for "Freedom in this Lifetime" must remain an inspiration and a rallying call for our people to never be complacent but daily, be involved in the continuing struggle to create a better life for all mankind.

Madiba is locally and internationally recognised as a renowned statesman, a symbol of reconciliation and nation building - bringing together people divided by a chasm of violence, discrimination and a history of oppression. The African National Congress is humbled that the United Nations shall be calling a special sitting honouring Tata at its Headquarters in New York tomorrow. The sitting, to be addressed by Isithwalandwe Seaparankwe Andrew Mlangeni, Former US President Bill Clinton, Reverend Jesse Jackson and celebrated artist Harry Belafonte, shall bring together world leaders in recognition of President Mandela and the role he has played in service of humanity. This event and many others organised throughout the world are further testimony of Comrade Mandela`s ability to bring together the people of world, united in their diversity towards and for a good cause.

The African National Congress remains inspired by Madiba`s legacy and continues to draw from his sterling example in our ongoing struggle to build a better life for all South Africans. South Africa is a better place today than it was in 1994 and this is because of the contribution made by Madiba and his collective, relentlessly driving the implementation of ANC policies and programmes as encapsulated in the Freedom Charter. It is this determination, pursuit of freedom and a worthy life that South Africans and the world over are celebrating.

The African National Congress is excitedly looking forward to its own programme tomorrow, playing its part and celebrating Madiba`s birthday. In the same vein the ANC acknowledges and thanks every single person and institution who will dedicated their time in the service of humanity underlined by the values of Mandela Day and thus creating a global movement for good. While we are inspired by the preparations for tomorrow, the ANC joins the Mandela Foundation and our icon, Tata Madiba, as he sits at the Mediclinic Hospital, in calling on all people of South Africa, the continent and the world to make everyday a Mandela Day.

Issued by

Jackson Mthembu
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Keith Khoza 0828239672
Khusela Sangoni-Khawe 0795105408