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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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By unknown | May 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Hundreds of people burst into thunderous applause and ululations at Church Square, Pretoria, when former president Nelson Mandela delivered his Freedom of the City of Tshwane award acceptance speech yesterday.

The actual conferment was held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation offices in Houghton, Johannesburg, and broadcast via satellite on big screens at Church Square and Pretoria City Hall.

Accepting the honour from the administrative capital, Madiba thanked the city for "accommodating the needs of an old man" by agreeing to come to his offices to confer the award.

Mandela apologised for not being present in Pretoria to personally accept the award there.

"I want to accept this award by sending a request to the nation and leaders to remember the horror we came from.

"Let us never again descend into destruction no matter what consideration," the former president said.

Many people were humbled to see Mandela and hearing his legendary voice after his absence from the public eye for some time.

He received a similar award from the City of Johannesburg in 2004.

Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said the people of Tshwane were humbled by Madiba's acceptance of the award.

"It is fitting that the capital city, the city in which he worked and lived as the first president of the democratically elected republic, should bestow on him this honour," said Ramokgopa.

Delivering the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said Mandela's legacy rested "on service to his community, organisation and the nation".

l Police fired stun grenades at a group of about 200 South African Municipal Workers Union members who tried to storm the Pretoria City Hall to discuss "outstanding issues" involving the union.


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