ANC battle veteran Mac Maharaj said the heritage of Nelson Mandela ought to be respected through country building.
Maharaj was the keynote speaker at Freedom Day festivities at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda‚ Durban‚ where Mandela make his choice amid the main popularity based races in 1994.
The lecture was to mark 100 years since Mandela’s birth and to celebrate other stalwarts who played a pivotal role in the liberation of black people in South Africa‚ including John Langalibalele Dube‚ who founded the institute in 1900‚ Pixley ka Isaka Seme‚ founder of the South African Native National Congress‚ the precursor of the ANC‚ and Mahatma Gandhi‚ leader of India’s non-violent independence movement against British rule and in South Africa.
Maharaj said that in celebrating Mandela‚ everyone should remember his farewell to the world in London where he said: “It is in your hands.” “He led us from bondage to democracy – the instrument that empowers us to construct a free society. Even in the age of democracy we have floundered for too long‚” Maharaj said.
“Our challenge today was powerfully put by President Ramaphosa at his Sona [State of the Nation] address: ‘Thuma mina’. In that spirit now is time to lend a hand to build a thriving nation.”
It is in the “exhilaration of being builders of a future” where each person’s dignity is each other’s duty to uphold‚ said Maharaj.