News / Africa

South Africa’s Unions Congratulate Mandela on Birthday

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, centre, followed by his grandson Mandla Mandela, rear right, arrives at a ceremony in Mvezo, South Africa, April 16, 2007.Former South African President Nelson Mandela, centre, followed by his grandson Mandla Mandela, rear right, arrives at a ceremony in Mvezo, South Africa, April 16, 2007.
x
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, centre, followed by his grandson Mandla Mandela, rear right, arrives at a ceremony in Mvezo, South Africa, April 16, 2007.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, centre, followed by his grandson Mandla Mandela, rear right, arrives at a ceremony in Mvezo, South Africa, April 16, 2007.
Peter Clottey
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has congratulated anti-apartheid icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela, who celebrates his  94th birthday Wednesday.

COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven said Mandela will continue to be an inspiration to all South Africans, as well as the rest of the world.

“COSATU wished Nelson Mandela a very happy birthday and many more years of happy life.  Nobody has done more to earn it in South Africa and he remains an inspiration to all of us,” said Craven.

“Our message," he added, "is to wish him well and to hope that his inspiration will contribute towards continuing the work, which he so much set in motion both in prison and as president, and which can still inspire us today to solve some of the huge problems, which we still face as a country, particularly the very high rate of unemployment, poverty and inequality.”

Craven said COSATU has enjoyed a strong relationship with Mandela.

“COSATU always has an excellent relationship with Nelson Mandela. When we set up a special award named after our founding president, the Elijah Barayi Award, the first person we gave this to was Nelson Mandela. And, it was an obvious choice; there was no debate about that,” said Craven.

“He always saw the workers and the poor as the main people who have to benefit from political liberation," he added. "And, the tragedy is that, today, many of those are still not completely free.  He has won our political freedom for us, for which we will always be grateful.  But, we still have to struggle to achieve economic freedom about this main challenge, which we face in the years ahead.”

Related photo gallery

  • Nelson Mandela smiles for photographers at his home in Johannesburg September 22, 2005.
  • Nelson Mandela and his then wife, Winnie, salute well-wishers as he leaves Victor Verster prison on Feb. 11, 1990.
  • This undated photograph shows Nelson Mandela and his former wife, Winnie.
  • South African State President Frederik Willem de Klerk and Deputy President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela prior to talks, Cape Town, May 2, 1990.
  • Nelson Mandela, is seen as he gives the black power salute to 120,000 ANC supporters in Soweto's Soccer City stadium, Feb. 13, 1990.
  • Then-African National Congress President Nelson Mandela salutes the crowd in Galeshewe Stadium near Kimberley, South Africa, Feb. 25, 1994.
  • Nelson Mandela and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II ride in a carriage outside Buckingham Palace on the first day of a state visit to Britain, July 9, 1996.
  • President Nelson Mandela and Britain's Prince Charles shake hands alongside members of the Spice Girls, Nov. 1, 1997.
  • Former U.S President Bill Clinton and former South African President Nelson Mandela speak during a Gala night in Westminster Hall, London, July 2, 2003.
  • Oscar winning South African actress Charlize Theron weeps at her meeting with former South African President Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, March 11,2004.
  • Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, wave to the audience during a Live 8 concert in Johannesburg, July 2, 2005.
  • Nelson Mandela jokes with youngsters as they celebrate his 89th birthday at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Johannesburg, July 24, 2007.
  • Former South African president Nelson Mandela, center, followed by his grandson Mandla Mandela, rear right, arrives at the ceremony in Mvezo, South Africa, April 16, 2007.
  • Nelson Mandela waves to the media as he arrives outside 10 Downing Street, London, August 28, 2007.
  • Nelson Mandela waves as he arrives to attend the 2010 World Cup football final Netherlands vs. Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.
  • Nelson Mandela poses for a photograph after receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary in his home village Qunu, May 30, 2012.

The U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to mark Nelson Mandela International Day with an informal meeting Wednesday honoring his contributions to democracy, racial justice and reconciliation.

In his message, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to bring change to the people of South Africa.  Our gift to him can – and must – be to change our world for the better.”

Craven said South Africans are delighted with the honor Mandela has brought to them.

“[We are] very proud, but it is always a fact that he didn’t only make a huge contribution to South Africa, but he set an example for the rest of the world, which many countries can learn from,” said Craven.

 “There are many parts of [our] world, tragically, which are still engulfed in conflict; the Middle East, Syria in particular at the moment, where the people there could learn lessons in how to live together in peace and harmony, despite the differences, which are rooted in history of different countries, just as they were in South Africa," said Craven.

Clottey interview with COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven
Clottey interview with COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: theresia from: Arusha Tanzania
July 18, 2012 8:31 AM
we thank madiba for what he has done for sauthafricans and africa at large, may he live long. hw i wish mwl. nyerere was here with us too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More