'A hero who sacrificed himself for our freedom'
DEPUTY Minister of Public Works Jeremy Cronin urged all South Africans to celebrate the birthday of a man who had sacrificed his life for the freedom of the entire nation.
Cronin was speaking at the Refilwe Multi-purpose Centre in Cullinan outside Pretoria where his department donated furniture, food and other items as part of the celebrations of former president Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday yesterday.
Staff members from the department, assisted by local NGOs, cleaned the centre and the stretch of tarred road leading to the facility. Staffers also made personal donations of food and other goods.
The multi-purpose centre was built by the department (of public works) and handed over to the local municipality to mark the 94th birthday and Mandela Day.
The facility is mainly used by NGOs for different projects, including early childhood development, children with disabilities, feeding scheme for child-headed households, old age centre and feeding about 28 home-based patients.
Dressed in bright orange overalls, Cronin met local community leaders before addressing workers.
He said: "We should celebrate Mandela Day by reminding ourselves about the fantastic values of our leader and hero who sacrificed himself for our freedom."