By – SAnews.gov.za
President Cyril Ramaphosa says his administration will be guided by former President Nelson Mandela’s vision to lead South Africa with ethical behaviour and leadership.
“We will recount Madiba’s long walk to freedom, his wisdom, his unfailing humility, his abiding compassion and his essential integrity. Guided by his example, we will use this year to reinforce our commitment to ethical behaviour and ethical leadership,” said President Ramaphosa.
The President delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Friday.
“We are continuing the long walk he began, to build a society in which all may be free, in which all may be equal before the law and in which all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life,” said President Ramaphosa.
In mapping the year ahead for government, he said 2018 has been marked as the Nelson Mandela Centenary and as such the year would be dedicated to the global icon’s memory.
Mandela, who was known to South Africans as the father of the nation after leading the country into democracy and beyond, would have turned 100 years on 18 July 2018. The struggle veteran lost his battle to a recurring lung infection on 5 December 2013.
Government has set several plans in motion to celebrate the colourful and inspiring life of Mandela through a series of programmes that will span across the year.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has also been established and is responsible for planning and coordinating the centenary programme befitting the legacy and heritage of Mandela.
The IMC is made up of Ministers from Departments such as Arts and Culture, Communications and Public Works, among others and engage closely with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Centenary celebrations have already kicked off with the Unthreading Mandela Exhibition unveiled by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
South Africans and the world at large will be able to view a TV series to be aired globally that deals with different periods in the icon’s life.
President Ramaphosa called on South African’s to embody the late Statesman’s ideals of unity.
“We should honour Madiba by putting behind us the era of discord, disunity and disillusionment,” he said.
The vision of the man born in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape on 18 July 1918 will light the path for President Ramaphosa as he builds on former President Jacob Zuma’s achievements.
“In celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela we are not merely honouring the past, we are building the future,” said President Ramaphosa.
Albertina Sisulu centenary
Another giant of the struggle, Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu will also be celebrated this year.
“Through her remarkable life and outstanding contribution, she defined what it means to be a freedom fighter, a leader and a diligent and disciplined servant of the people
“As we mark her centenary, we reaffirm that no liberation can be complete and no nation can be free until its women are free,” said President Ramaphosa.