Public Forums | General | Mandela Day



Quite a big thing is made of this here in South Africa. The day that would have been Nelson Mandela's birthday, is used to encourage doing community oriented things for others. There are actually four events today that my church alone is involved in, but I am nursing a recurring elbow joint injury so I will not be able to participate. Things range from playing soccer with children, to working in soup kitchens, to cleaning streets etc.  Today would have been Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday (okay he would have been 100; that technically means it's his 101st birthday). 

Nelson Mandela's release from prison set the way forward for South Africa's international involvement. Nelson Mandela and PW Botha jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize one year.


michelle wilson
Sharon, SC, US

I know that name and I even remember seeing him getting released from jail but I have no idea why he went to jail. I must have been really young or just busy with my girls. That is cool that your church does a lot of things for the community.

   I hope your elbow is healing and feeling better.



I had to google the specific term, but Nelson Mandela was sent to prison for trying to "overthrow the state". Basically, when South Africa became a republic in 1961, he was considered a national terrorist to the Apartheid government. There was lots of objection to a system instituted by a white government, under which black people were not allowed to: vote, have an educational beyond a certain level, had limited access to jobs, were not allowed to be represented in Parliament (the African National Congress and other groups opposed to the government were banned) etc.

There were a few revolutionary thinkers who stood up to the system and were imprisoned.

On 16 June, 1976, there was an uprising by a group of school children in Soweto, against the forced use of Afrikaans as a language medium in schools (today Afrikaans is one of 11 national languages here and no one community's home language is rejected, although Julius Malema wants to remove Afrikaans as a national language if the Economic Freedom Fighters ever have a two thirds majority in Parliament.

The Soweto uprising against Apartheid educational policies is commemorated now on June 16 in a public holiday called Youth Day.

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