Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Mandla Zwelivelile Mandela says preparations for his grandfather’s centenary celebrations at Mvezo village, where Nelson Mandela was born, are at an advanced stage.
Mandela says the Mvezo Traditional Council and Universal Peace Organization have decided to host celebrations under theme of “Peace” – different to government’s theme of “Be The Legacy”.
Chief Mandela says they have invited ex-presidents of South Africa, the current president, and some former presidents from some African countries to attend the event.
Chief Mandela says the family felt it befitting to organise Nelson Mandela’s 100 Centenary celebrations at his birth place of Mvezo. He says this will give locals an opportunity to take part in the celebrations.
Mandela has acknowledged that the South African government has also lined-up a number of activities to honour the icon.
“The newly elected President ,His Excellency, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, shared the same sentiments that 2018 will be a year of reflecting on Madiba’s legacy… but it will also be a year we are honouring Mama Albertina Sisulu, so that to us was very exciting,” says Chief Mandela.
He says the family and the Universal Peace Organisation has decided to focus on “peace” as Nelson Mandela was a proponent of peace.
“We as the family, we have taken a more reserved approach, to look at what the important lessons were for us in Madiba’s time… and I think for us, the true embodiment of what Madiba was, is captured as the man of peace – so this is what on this centenary, being the Royal House of Mandela located here in Mvezo, together with the Mvezo Traditional Council and the Universal Peace Organisation – we want to present to the global community.”
Meanwhile the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Museum, Bonke Tyhulu, says they have invited former Kenya Prime Minister, Raila Odinga to share a dialogue that will be held on the 18th of July.
“The 18th of July is a big day internationally, hence it was so fitting for us to invite the former Prime Minister of Kenya, he is well known in the African politics, but is also known internationally… he is one of international big leaders if you talk of African revolution… so it is fitting to have a variety of speakers to talk and unpack the legacy of Tata Madiba.”
Chief Mandela says the Inter -ministerial Committee chaired by Minister Jeff Radebe has not yet responded to the letters sent to him by the family and the Mvezo Traditional Council.
“The leader of Inter-ministerial Committee, the honourable Minister Jeff Radebe, as to date we have never had an audience with him, and we have never had any engagement with him… we have only sent dozens of letters to his office requesting to have a meeting to engage on the plans of this centenary, but to this hour… I must say that we have not had any joy out of his office,” says Chief Mandela.
Attempts to get comment from government were unsuccessful at the time of broadcast. Preparations are underway, a giant dome marque has already been erected at Mvezo Great Place.