Mandela Day lecture to be delivered by UN secretary-general, and dedicated to Zindzi Mandela

Nelson Mandela with his daughter Zindzi. (Photo by P/F/H/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

  • The 2020 Mandela Day lecture, held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be held in his daughter Zindzi’s name.
  • While her father would have turned 102, Zindzi was 59 when she died on Monday.
  • UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres will deliver the lecture at 15:00.

This year’s Mandela Day lecture will be dedicated to Mandela’s late daughter, Zindzi, who died this week. Nelson Mandela would have turned 102 this year. 

The lecture will be delivered by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres. 

Messages and famous Nelson Mandela quotes from various officials have started pouring in ahead of International Mandela Day on Saturday. 

Mandela’s birthday – 18 July – has been marked as a day to be selfless, and to live in the late former president’s shoes for 67 minutes. 

Each year, South Africans give up some time to commemorate the struggle hero.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will be hosting a virtual annual lecture that will be live from Johannesburg and the United Nations in New York City.

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, will deliver the 18th annual lecture.

“We are dedicating this year’s lecture to the memory of Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Madiba and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away this week,” the foundation’s spokesperson Luzuko Koti said in a statement.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation was among those who said a just society had not yet been achieved.

“We commemorate the 102nd year of Mr Mandela’s birth tomorrow (Saturday) in extreme humility, in the knowledge that the goals he set for an inclusive and just society have not been achieved,” the Tutu foundation said in a statement.

This year, the foundation hopes that the 67 minutes of volunteerism to symbolise Mandela’s 67 years of public service sees social justice theory put into practice.

South Africans should set time aside to seriously begin to reimagine the “fairer and more sustainable” society they’d like to see on the other side of the coronavirus.

READ | Ahead of funeral, Zindzi Mandela remembered by ANC as a symbol of hope during apartheid 

Meanwhile, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation collaborated with several other civil society organisations. They called on the public – ahead of Mandela Day – to share their thoughts on actions that need to be taken to “Fix Our Democracy”.

“The list of 67 action points will be made public on Mandela Day to mark the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela, who spent 67 years of his life championing social justice and equality, as well as accountable and ethical leadership,” the foundation’s spokesperson Neeshan Balton said. 

The lecture will begin at 15:00.

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