46664 pleads for Mandela holiday

The 46664 and Nelson Mandela Foundation yesterday urged people to support the creation of a day on which former president Nelson Mandela is honoured around the world every year.

The organisations said Mandela's July 18 birthday was the date set aside.

"We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation," said the statement issued on Mandela's behalf.

On Mandela Day, people around the world would be asked to spend 67 minutes of their time doing something to make a difference to the world around them.

International director of 46664 Tim Massey said: "Mandela day is about creating a movement for positive change and establishing one day to reflect upon, celebrate and make manifest the values that guide Nelson Mandela." He said a worldwide series of Mandela Day events would be held to honour the man.

For example, various events would take place in New York City this year involving various people involved in entertainment, music and film. School students from the city would also come to SA in June to see the work of Mandela's foundations and to meet local pupils.

Former US president Bill Clinton said: "More than any other human being, Madiba has been the great inspiration for the life I lead and the work I do, especially in the area of HIV and Aids."

Clinton said that in return for everything Mandela has taught the world, people owed him their commitment to support his work and legacy. - Sapa