Be voice of the poor, Mandela tells PAP

Former president Nelson Mandela yesterday urged African parliamentarians to be the voice of Africa's poor.

Former president Nelson Mandela yesterday urged African parliamentarians to be the voice of Africa's poor.

He was speaking at the opening of the sixth session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, where he launched the PAP Trust Fund.

"Let their voices be heard loudly and clearly in the corridors of power. Let us be open to allow the voices of those who speak through us as leaders to be heard," Mandela said.

"The future and deepening of real democracy on our continent rest firmly on the pillars of good governance."

The PAP Trust will supplement the funding shortfalls that hamper the under-financed body.

The sixth session of the parliament came close to being cancelled because of a lack of funds.

When the continental body ended its fifth session in May it warned that it had run out of money.

This year's PAP budget was about R168million, of which half was to come from member states. - Sapa

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