Remembering Nelson Mandela | Western Cape Government

General Publication

Create forms, guidelines, manuals, instructions, policies, public information pages, reports and research.

Remembering Nelson Mandela


Remembering Our National Hero

A year ago, on 5 December, the world mourned the death of our former president, Nelson Mandela. This week we will remember him and honour his legacy, with events taking place in our province and across the country.

Through his leadership and dedication, South Africa transitioned peacefully into a nation which ensures the freedom of all who live within her borders. We commemorate the life of this legendary statesman and keep his memory and legacy alive, and in doing so we ensure that his values and vision continue to guide us as a nation.

This year the day will be marked under the theme Together We Move South Africa Forward.

After 27 years in prison and 67 years fighting for freedom, Mandela was dedicated to promoting social cohesion and peace. He endured a great deal of hardships in making South Africa a democratic nation. 

martinique-carelse.jpgMartinique Tells Us About Madiba's Lasting Impact on Her
Martinique Carelse (pictured), a 19-year-old from Cape Town, said she remembers the love Mandela had for children and despite not meeting him, being part of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation (NMCF) and being an ambassador for the foundation’s Children’s Parliament will encourage her to keep his legacy alive. 

“Tata Madiba was my inspiration, he got me through some of the heavy things in my life. I thank Tata for everything he did for me, for opening the ways of freedom for us and for always keeping us in his promise for a better South Africa.” 

Mandela had a great love for children and Carelse said she remembers him by reflecting on the quote: “There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children”.

Memorial Sites and Events

Everyone is invited to participate in one or all of the following events:

  • St Georges Cathedral, 5 Wale Street, will have a special dedication to Mandela in their normal service at 07:15 and again at 13:15. The services are open to everyone.
  • The V&A Waterfront will have a small marquee, at Nobel Square, where a book of messages will be available to write tributes for Mandela. An image of Mandela with a burning candle will also be on display and this will be up from 5 December to 8 December.
  • A call to attention will be made through church bells, school sirens, mosque prayer announcements for three minutes and seven seconds before 10:00, after which a moment of silence will be observed from 10:00 until 10:03. The time lapse between the ringing of the bells and the moment of silence is six minutes and seven seconds – symbolic of the 67 years Mandela spent fighting for equality and freedom.
  • The Presidency, supported by the Department of Social Development, will lead a commemoration event at Freedom Park, Pretoria. The event will include a prayer and a ritual ceremony and will start at 05:00. The main event, led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, will start at 10:00.
  • Veterans and friends of Mandela will lay wreaths at the Mandela statue at the Union Buildings at 08:30. The ceremony is open to the public, and members of the public can lay wreaths throughout the day. 

So, let us take this day and reflect on Mandela’s efforts to change our political landscape, while remembering the values he left behind for us. You can continue his legacy and help move our country forward.

Ah Dalibunga! Rest in Peace Tata Mandela, Madiba, uZondwa, uNgqolomsila, uYem Yem. 


Special dignitaries and well-known personalities share their thoughts on the life and legacy of former president Nelson Mandela. In keeping with the symbolism of the number 67, the duration of the video is exactly six minutes and seven seconds.

The content on this page was last updated on 12 December 2014