18 July 2013
Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi Mandela, received the former president’s new smart ID card at an event to celebrate his 95th birthday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday.
Mandela remains in hospital after having been admitted on 8 June to receive treatment for a recurring lung infection. Doctors have confirmed that his health is steadily improving.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor handed over the ID to Zindzi on his behalf.
Speaking to SANews shortly after receiving the new ID on behalf of her father, Zindzi said she was happy that Madiba was one of the first people to get the new ID.
“I’m going to give it to him and I am certain he would be very much happy,” she said, adding that the family was overwhelmed by the recognition that people are giving to Madiba.
She also thanked all South Africans who are praying for Madiba.
One of the recipients of the new ID, senior citizen Gogo Bethuna Moteane told SANews that she was happy with the new ID. She said she would use her ID to receive her grant. “I will keep it safe,” she said.
Pandor announced the introduction of the new smart ID cards during her department’s budget vote in Parliament earlier this year.
The new IDs, which will be issued free to all first-time applicants, can be used in next year’s elections.
Also receiving the new IDs were the “Mandela generation” – those who were involved in the struggle against the apartheid regime during Mandela’s time.
These included Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former President Thabo Mbeki, former Parliament Speaker Frene Ginwala, struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni and Sophie de Bruyn, who led the women’s march against apartheids pass laws to the Union Buildings in 1956.
Senior citizens over 100 years old also received their new IDs.
Former President FW de Klerk was listed as one the recipients of the new ID but could not make Thursday’s event due to ill health.
The event, which included cutting a birthday cake for Madiba, was also attended by Madiba’s family representatives.
As part of celebrating Madiba’s birthday, South Africans have been requested to spend 67 minutes of their time serving or helping other people.