As we herald in this month, we do so in honour of former president Nelson Mandela and in recognition of his legacy. It is Mr Mandela’s exemplary leadership, great statesmanship and moral force that continue to inspire South Africans as they try to build a cohesive nation.
We must never forget that 24 years ago, South Africans were staring into a future marred by permanent civil strife which would have reduced our country to ashes and caused a great deal of suffering. It was the wisdom of leaders like Mr Mandela, underpinned by the values of Ubuntu, which enabled us to walk away from the precipice of a destructive war and to choose instead the path of reconciliation and peace. This month it offers ordinary South Africans a way of expressing commitment, drawing inspiration and courage from our rich history, and to continue to work through the current transition so that we can increasingly become the South Africa we envisage to be.
South Africans from all walks of life will be pledging to double their efforts to reach out towards one another in peace, understanding and tolerance.