Cape Town has dedicated 2013 to former South African president Nelson Mandela with a programme of events in his honour taking place throughout the year, according to the city’s mayor Patricia de Lille.
A multimedia exhibition reflecting Mandela’s relationship with Cape Town is planned for the civic centre and city hall. De Lille said that there was no greater example than Mandela to embody Cape Town’s goal to create “a city of economic opportunity that addresses the imbalances of the past through a commitment to reconciliation, redress and diversity.”
Underlining the important but complex role that Cape Town has played in Mandela’s life, De Lille recalled that the Nobel Peace Prize winner had been unjustly imprisoned in the same city whose town hall was later the venue for his first speech as a free man. “It was from here where he presided over the first democratic parliament that ushered in a new constitutional era of rights and dignity”, she said.
However opposition politician Anwar Adams accused De Lille of capitalising on Mandela’s name in a bid to garner political support.
Mandela, aged 94, was recently discharged from hospital after suffering from a lung infection.