A reception to mark the Nelson Mandela International Day 2022 was organised by the High Commission of South Africa, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund, in recognition of the contributions to the culture of peace and freedom made by the former South African President, Mr Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba. This year marks the 104th anniversary of Madiba and the theme for this year is “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.
Among the dignitaries present were the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and several Ministers.
In his keynote address, President Roopun underlined that this day was an occasion to celebrate the legacy of an icon that had marked the history of Africa with meaningful achievements, most particularly for bringing South Africa out of apartheid, and for charting a path for reconciliation. “His contributions, values and dedication as a humanitarian,” he stated, “have brought about peaceful transition to a non-racial democracy in South Africa,” which he said, “is highly commendable. Nelson Mandela,” he said, “will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders who had a deep commitment to social justice, human rights and fundamental freedom.”
Also present, the UN Resident Coordinator for Mauritius and Seychelles, Mrs Christine Umutoni, indicated that this day was a call for making a difference for the community, taking actions, and initiating change for a better world, in line with Madiba’s principles and values. “It is an honour,” she said, “to celebrate a leader of uncowering success who dedicated his life to serve humanity, inspire the youth, evoke the need for freedom and create resilience for the people of Africa and around the world.”
For her part, the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Hlamalani Nelly Manzini paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and dwelt on his lifetime achievements. She also expressed her gratitude to Mauritius for recognizing Madiba’s struggle for democracy and a culture of peace and for extending a helping hand to other communities in times of need.
The South African Commission has issued a statement about some news on South Africa’s position regarding the current affairs of SAFE. Here is what can be read from the communique:
The High Commission noted with utter dismay and disappointment that some mischievous media took advantage of this awesome day to propagate a narrative which seeks to draw the High Commission into the political space of its host country which we have welcomed as a point of balanced discussion in a more appropriate venue. We strongly condemn this practice which taints the essential value of freedom of the press in a democracy.
South Africa continues to enjoy cordial diplomatic relations with Mauritius which will continue to flourish.
Here is the press release: