SAHRC pays tribute to former President Nelson Mandela
Attention Editors and Reporters
18 July 2013
The South African Human Rights Commission joins the rest of the world in paying tribute to former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, as he celebrates his 95th birthday on the 18th of July 2013.
The Commission wishes Madiba a speedy recovery from the recurring lung infection which has kept him in hospital for over a month. As he celebrates his 95th birthday, his words and deeds become increasingly relevant to the rest of us. His teachings will guide generations to come and will forever remain in the hearts and minds of everyone, young and old, black and white, rich and poor.
As an ambassador for human rights, President Mandela set the tone for human rights in South Africa and abroad. During the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 21 September 1998, President Mandela told the 53rd General Assembly of the United Nations that the Declaration “held high the hope that all our societies would, in future, be built on the foundations of the glorious human rights vision spelt out in each of its clauses.”
During his term, Chapter 9 institutions such as the South African Human Right Commission were established to support constitutional democracy. The Commission celebrates Madiba, as SA’s foremost human rights activist, who asserted and inspired human rights not just in South Africa, but across the world. Many South Africans attribute the right to freedom we enjoy today to him and his generation of women and men who fought for and asserted our right to dignity.
We join and applaud Government and Business employees who will participate in good deeds with many charities on Mandela Day. Government, and the Businesses it contracts, must use their power and resources, to deepen the realization of human rights as a Constitutional imperative. Make everyday a Mandela Day. Link the activities tomorrow to ensuring that the core work of creating employment and building schools, hospitals, clinics, homes, food, communities and our country, is done in a way that upholds human dignity. It is time to honour Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s revolutionary belief in our individual and collective power: ‘It’s in your hands’.
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission
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