Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has called on the public to join him at Freedom Park in Pretoria on 20 September to form a Human Chain as commitment to Nelson Mandela’s vision and values of a united South Africa.
The Archbishiop urged all young people to come forward and commit to take up the baton that is being handed over to them by those from Mandela’s generation. “This is a time to continue sowing the seeds of love and not destruction, and of hope to all our beautiful country.
“It requires all of use to roll up our sleeves and conduct ourselves befitting of Madiba’s stature,” he said.
Freedom Park will celebrate heritage day by participating in this Human Chain initiative undertaken throughout the country in honour of the values that Tata Madiba lived for. The initiative will be held on 20 September, for 67 minutes, from 12pm to 1.07pm.
The Human Chain route will be from Freedom Park, through Bosman Station, Paul Kruger up to Church Square. Marshalls will be present throughout the route, and members of the public are being urged to join the chain nearest to where they are.
The Archbishop will be joined by representatives of universities and religious leaders from across faiths. They will join hands together then read out a pledge at 12.30, committing each one to furthering the dream and values of Madiba so many fought and died for.
South Africans from all walks of life are also being called on to pledge to increase their efforts to reach out towards one another in peace, understanding and tolerance.
“A Human Chain is the linking of hands in a line by a group of people, a simple yet powerful gesture that sends a strong message of unity and togetherness,” the Archbishop said. “It is an apt expression of Nelson Mandela’s determination to see a united, non-racial, democratic, South Africa, free from poverty.”
He added that the Human Chain offered ordinary South Africans a way of expressing commitment, drawing inspiration and courage from our rich history, and to continue to work through the current transition so that we can increasingly become the South Africa we envisage to be.
WEAR SOUTH AFRICAN COLOURS
Freedom Park has been tasked to work with local universities, schools and inter-faith bodies, to reach out to communities to ensure their participation in the human chain. A number of partners are offering support in various ways, at both local and national levels, including the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, universities, Brand South Africa and religious leaders.
Freedom Park CEO Fana Jiyane said the chain would stretch from Freedom Park, through Bosman Station, Paul Kruger, and up to Church Square. “I call upon all participants to wear South African colours and bring along South African flags. Join the chain nearest to you along these streets in Pretoria.”
On Mandela Day July 18th 2013, the Archbishop successfully led a similar Human Chain in Cape Town, organized along Klipfontein Road, which links Gugulethu to Rondebosch – a stretch that runs through four previously divided communities under the Apartheid regime.
“The success of this event has moved me to extend this call nationally,” the Archbishop said. “The Pretoria event on Friday will demonstrate to the whole country one way in which we as South Africans can celebrate our heritage by holding hands and making a joint commitment.”