Cape Town - South Africa must live up to the legacy left by freedom icon Nelson Mandela by promoting human rights and democracy among its neighbors and around the world, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
Clinton challenged students at the University of the Western Cape to look beyond their borders and export their country's ideals as espoused by Mandela, who is affectionately known as “Madiba.” Clinton visited the 94-year-old Mandela at his home Monday.
“You, the young generation, are called not just to preserve the legacy of liberty that has been left to you by Madiba and by other courageous men and woman,” she said.
“You are called to build on that legacy to ensure that your country fulfills its own promise and takes its place as a leader among nations and as a force for peace, opportunity, equality and democracy, and to stand up always for human rights at home and around the world,” Clinton said.
Earlier Wednesday, Clinton presided over the signing of an agreement with South African health officials that will put them in the lead in administering the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in the country.
The program has spent $3.2 billion on anti-retroviral drugs, other treatments and HIV prevention programs in South Africa since then-President George W. Bush started it in 2004. The handover will be phased in over five years.
South Africa has the highest HIV infection rate in the world, with 5.7 million people - 17.8 percent of the population - testing positive for the virus. - Sapa-AP