ITUC-Africa Statement on Mandela Day: drawing inspiration from an Icon

Keywords : South Africa Declarations

The African Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUCAfrica) today joins the rest of Africa in celebrating Nelson Mandela - a living icon we
share with the rest of the world.

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It is a celebration of the struggles and contributions of
a man working with other comrades, compatriots, friends and allies who was able to
overcome the oppressive and suppressive actions of apartheid and show the world that
indeed good will always overcome evil if good persons commit sufficient dedication.

We remind ourselves that this day is a milestone that is etched in the history of the
human race and points a bright touch to what sacrifice, courage, endurance, peace,
reconciliation and service mean when we set our minds to pursue them.

ITUC-Africa therefore urges African and world leaders to recommit to the ideals that
Nelson Mandela cherishes and stands for. These ideals speak to true freedom,
stewardship, consensus building, forgiveness, reconciliation and the struggle for
progress and shared prosperity. They are ideals that many other past African heroes and
heroines espoused, but sadly remain unachieved.

Prosperity and progress that will make effective contribution to the elimination of
extreme poverty and inequality cannot be achieved under the guise of austerity
measures that punish people and the poor yet heftily reward speculators and the rich.

The symbolism of Mandela Day speaks to how leaders and politicians should listen and
act in the interest of their people, constituents and constituencies in ways which
guarantee that their welfare and well-being are secured and promoted.

We join the rest of the world in extending our best wishes for speedy recovery to Nelson
Mandela at this time. We celebrate you today and always!

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah

General Secretary

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