Remarks by Ambassador Malefane at the opening of the Mandela’s Suitcase Exhibition

Remarks by Ambassador Pule Malefane at the opening of the Mandela’s Suitcase Exhibition in Ankara, 04 September 2018

Ladies and gentlemen please allow me register sincere greetings to you all and thank you for being part of this august and auspicious occasion. The city of Ankara has been my home for the past three years and I appreciate this singular opportunity to welcome you here this afternoon. It also gives me great pleasure to share with you the live and times of the South Africa icon and statesman, Madiba, Nelson Mandela through this incredible exhibition.

Allow me to acknowledge, Mr Nafiz Kaya Deputy President of the Cankaya Municipality and senior officials from his office. Mr İbrahim Karaoğlu, let me also advance a special welcome to you and inform that we as the South African Mission in Ankara are grateful for your continued commitment to expose Mandela to the people of the world. Ambassadors and diplomats, you are most welcome.

Ladies and gentlemen

I am happy that today we are opening an exhibition depicting the impact of Nelson Mandela on all of us. I am equally happy that I am doing this in Turkey where heroes are not in short supply as evidenced by the legacy of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

As I speak its as if I can see Ataturk and Mandela holding hands in heaven reminiscing about their times on earth and their contribution to humanity and the restoration of the dignity of their respective peoples.  

Mandela, the greatest son of Africa would have been a hundred years old this year.

This humble soul, Nelson Mandela should be remembered as a struggle stalwart, freedom fighter and first democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa and the greatest statesman of our time.

In celebrating the centenary of Madiba’s life we should remember his unwavering commitment to justice, equality and non-racism in South Africa and the world.

Nelson Mandela was a central figure in the struggle for liberation from the unjust apartheid system. Mandela’s struggle for liberation saw him spend 27 years in prison from 1964 to 1991. During his years in prison, his reputation grew steadily and he was widely accepted as one of the most significant black leaders in South Africa. Mandela consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom and rejected at least three conditional offers of release. The former President’s steadfast resolve in the face of adversity led him to become a strong symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength.

Nelson Mandela left an indelible mark on our society having laid the foundation for a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society. As South Africa, Madiba’s legacy lives on in our commitment to ensure a just and fair society for all, including the rights to dignity and freedom of expression. We will continue to address the difficult issues which face us by engaging in dialogue, mindful that any solution must be to the benefit of all. We as a country advices all nations to adopt the same principles in dispute resolution.

Today let us make a commitment in marking the 100 year anniversary of Madiba’s life to be agents of the values he had left with us.

Values of Social Justice and Fairness

Freedom and dignity

Democracy, harmony and Unity

Peace and security

Instruments of change and

support the less fortunate within our communities.

This Exhibition today should rekindle our desire to be good citizens of the world, like Nelson Mandela. To forever remember the legacy of the greatest statesman to have ever walked this earth.

It is also my sincere hope that this exhibition evokes from all of us, the desire to pursue greater cultural collaboration between our two countries. We should deliberately advance programmes aimed at cultural exchanges so as to enhance South Africa-Turkey cultural friendship, global cultural diversity and appreciation. 

Let me concluded by using Nelson Mandela’s words, ‘As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest’.


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