South Africa remembers Nelson Mandela

19 November 2014

Mbalula

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula launches the Unite4Mandela campaign. (Image: Unite4Mandela)

Several events to remember Nelson Mandela are lined up as 5 December, the day the world icon passed away, approaches.

On Saturday, 22 November, the Union Buildings in Pretoria will host a Departments of Arts and Culture Unite 2.0 campaign in honour of Mandela. The event will include 67 artists and comedians who will entertain thousands of people expected to flock to Union Buildings on the day.

Music concert

The Union Buildings’ South Lawns will host a music concert featuring some of South Africa’s greatest artists. Crowds will be entertained by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, the Parlotones, Kurt Darren, the Mahotella Queens, Zakes Bantwini, Sibongile Khumalo, AKA, Beatenberg, Sifiso Ncwane, Naima Mclean, Phuzekhemisi, Zahara, Karen Zoid, Desmond and the Tutus, Zandile Mzazi, Supreme I Crew, Botlhale, Kryptonite, Gcina Mhlope, Di Tswina Tsa Ngwao and Mzwake Mbuli.

The free concert starts at 12noon and will run until 7pm.

Speaking about the arts and culture program, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said his department has been delegated with the special responsibility to lead and coordinate programs on nation building and social cohesion.

“We believe this event contributes to the significant initiative to uphold the legacy and promote the values of the late former President and international icon, Tat’ uNelson Mandela. As Arts and Culture, we are privileged to have leadership role and appreciate our partnership with Sports and Recreation,’ he said.

Sporting activities

On top of the musical and comedy entertainment, this year’s affair will include sporting activities including a cycling and athletics competitions. Amateur and professional sportsmen are welcome to enter the athletics competitions which will be graced by #Unite4Mandela ambassadors including Comrades Marathon legend Bruce Fordyce; Ironman and 1991 Comrades winner Nick Bester; and 2012 and 2014 Comrades Marathon winners Ludwick Mamabolo and Bongumusa Mthembu.

The prize monies for the 27km road race will also be as attractive. Both male and female winners of the race will pocket R150 000, with those coming in second getting R100 000 and third place winners will walk away with R50 000. On the other hand, the winner of the 9.4km run will receive R40 000, while the 9.4km walk winner will get R20 000.

The 27km road run will start at 6.30am, the 9.4km race starts at 6.45am and the 5km Fun Walk will start at 7am. The Union buildings will be the starting point for all these races.

The cycling competition will see professional cyclists like Daryl Impey, Chris Froome and Cherise Stander enter the fray to compete with TV personalities, politicians, comedians and musicians for top honours. This race will start off at Loftus Stadium at 6am and finish the Union Buildings.

The 67km cycling race winners, in both male and female categories, will receive a whopping R250 000, second-placed riders will get R150 000, while third-place riders will pocket R100 000.

Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup

Then there is the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup taking place on 5 December at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. On this occasion, the Blue Label Telecoms Proteas will clash with the Springboks T20 match.

Organised by the Cricket South Africa (CSA), the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Rugby Union (SARU), proceeds of the match will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Proteas and Springbok team management have promised to play their best available players on the day.

Everybody will cherish last year’s match between the Proteas and Springboks in Cape Town when a sell-out crowd enjoyed the rivalry between these two national teams, according to CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “With this match eagerly anticipated by sports fans around the country, we are expecting the same enjoyment from fans who make their way to the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium,’ he said.

Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU said the passing of Madiba affected all South Africans and left the nation with a duty to continue his legacy.

“He worked tirelessly to bring people together from different communities and in a small way this sporting celebration of his contribution to South Africa does that in a symbolic way. The fact that a donation will be made to his Foundation is our contribution to continuing that work.

“The Springboks really enjoyed last year’s encounter and I know that meetings of the selectors have already taken place,’ said Roux.

It will not only be cricket only on the day. though. Fans will be entertained by top local artists and fans will be afforded a chance to collect some rare autographs from their favourite players. For those feeling lucky, they can enter the popular Hit a Six competition which be held after the match.

Tickets for the T20 match are available from the Ticketpros website and range from R90 to R200.

Nelson Mandela Challenge

On 30 November, the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge featuring high-riding Bafana Bafana and a guest national team take place at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. This year Bafana Bafana will play host to West African giants Ivory Coast and kickoff time has been set at 3pm.

Initiated in 1994 when South Africa attained democracy, the Nelson Mandela Challenge is an annual football tournament aimed at raising money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. In 2013 Bafana Bafana played Nigeria and lost the match 0-2 to the Super Eagles.

SAinfo reporter