Nelson Mandela Day - Happy Birthday Tata - statement by the UDM President (16 July 2010)

On 18 July South Africans will once again share Madiba’s birthday with him, his family, and the rest of the world. We were again reminded how precious he is to us when he energetically waved hello at the Soccer World Cup final. His warm smile invariably makes us all proud to be South African; he is ours and we are his. Happy Birthday Tata, from all of us, and congratulations on your 12th wedding anniversary too!

We honour your wisdom, your statesmanship and the finesse with which your assisted South Africa’s transition from Apartheid into a democracy that stunned the world; the miracle of Madiba’s Rainbow Nation. Thank you Tata.

In 1995 the Rugby World Cup showed that South Africans can rally together. The 2010 Soccer World Cup was like a barometer in time that showed how much we’ve grown as a nation since 1995. Nelson Mandela was there each time. He has borne witness to peace within his lifetime, to the birth of the New South Africa and the growing pains of a nation learning to love itself.

Like the world cups, Nelson Mandela Day should be our rallying point - a day for each and every South African to opt in and show that we all can make an impact, together.

In 2008 Madiba was quoted saying that: “It is time for the next generations to continue our struggle against social injustice and for the rights of humanity. It is in your hands.”

Thank you Tata, we will work hard to not disappoint you.