Highlights of the month for South Africa are the World AIDS Day on 1 December, the Mandela 100 Years Celebration at TOBB University in connection with the Global Citizen Festival on 2 December, the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign which will take place from 25 November to 10 December and the Day of Reconciliation on 16 December.
World AIDS Day
1st December marks the World AIDS Day, an opportunity for everyone to unite in the fight against HIV & AIDS, to show support to those infected and affected and to remember those who passed on from diseases associated with HIV.
World AIDS Day 2018 will aim to achieve the following objectives; Urge people to know their HIV infection status through testing and to access HIV prevention, treatment and care services, and Urge policy-makers to promote a "health for all" agenda for HIV and related health services, such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and non-communicable disease.
The Mandela 100 Years Celebration
Ambassador Malefane was invited as Speaker at the “Mandela 100 Years Celebration” at TOBB Economy and Technology University on 2 December 2018 by the TOBB Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth Academy-SDSN. Other Speakers were Retired Ambassador Numar Hazar, Idema Vice General Manager Ahmet Batat, and Country Director & Business Developer Burçak Çullu.
TOBB University Department of Political Science and International Relations Dr K Aydın Gündüz and President of TOBB SDSN Buket Altınçelep hosted the event at TOBB.
Ambassador Malefane mentioned the importance of “Be the Legacy” theme in his opening speech.
Global Citizens Festival
2 December 2018 is the Global Citizens Festival, an annual music festival organised by Global Poverty Project to end extreme poverty by 2030, one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the festival was hosted in South Africa in honour of the legacy and centenary of former President Nelson Mandela. #Mandela100
The Global Citizens Festival held in Johannesburg raised 100 billion rand ($7.3 billion) in pledges from world leaders and organizations to end extreme poverty in Africa.
The festival -- which marked late President Nelson Mandela's centenary -- brought together several world leaders and a group of talented artists and influencers.
Organizers said Mandela's commitment to a better world motivated them to challenge world leaders to raise funds for improving education, fighting disease and extreme poverty.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign takes place between 25 November and 10 December 2018.
Over the period government will convene a series of dialogues on violence against women and children to focus on the problem, discuss the causes and to find appropriate solutions. Through the dialogue sessions government will interact with community members who experience violence and abuse.
It is important that the 16 Days Campaign is not viewed as a stand-alone event. It is another leg of the #356Days of Activism Campaign and #CountMeIn, which aims to mobilise members of society, especially men to join hands with government in the fight to curb Violence against Women.
Day of Reconciliation 16 December 2018
The 16th of December is a day of great significance in South Africa because of two historical events that took place on that date.
In apartheid South Africa 16 December was known as Day of the Vow, as the Voortrekkers in preparation for the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838 against the Zulus took a Vow before God that they would build a church and that they and their descendants would observe the day as a day of thanksgiving should they be granted victory.
The second historical event that took place on 16 December was in 1961, when Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was formed. Prior to its formation, the ANC had largely approached the fight against apartheid through passive resistance, but after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, where peaceful protestors were indiscriminately shot by police, passive resistance was no longer seen as an effective approach in bringing apartheid to an end. MK mostly performed acts of sabotage, but its effectiveness was hampered by organisational problems and the arrest of its leaders in 1963.
Despite this, its formation was commemorated every year since 1961. With the advent of democracy in South Africa 16 December retained its status as a public holiday. South Africa's first non-racial and democratic government was tasked with promoting reconciliation and national unity.
One way in which it aimed to do this symbolically was to acknowledge the significance of the 16 December in both the Afrikaner and liberation struggle traditions and to rename this day as the Day of Reconciliation. On 16 December 1995, the Day of Reconciliation was celebrated as a public holiday in South Africa for the first time.
We wish you all a health life and a happy New Year.
Ambassador P I Malefane
South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey