Cape Town - December 5 marks 10 years since the passing of Nelson Mandela, the first democratic president of South Africa.
It is also the day when anti-apartheid activist Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was born.
According to the Robben Island Museum (RIM), this year also marks 60 years since the incarceration of Mandela and Sobukwe on Robben Island.
To celebrate the lives of these icons, a series of events will be held across the country.
Nelson Mandela Museum (NMM) CEO Dr Vuyani Gweki Booi espoused the values of peace, reconciliation, justice, freedom, and accountability, which the museum strives to share by all means necessary.
“The legacy of Mandela is very important in the lives of South African people, as he sacrificed his life to fight for the freedom of South Africa.
“He united South Africans at a time when South Africa was on the brink of civil war.
“He preached peace when some of us were calling for battle that would have led to bloodshed; and he fought for justice to prevail in South Africa,” said Booi.
Sobukwe was a founding member of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), and he, together with the communities of Sharpeville and Langa, orchestrated a peaceful protest against the pass laws instituted by the apartheid government.
The police opened fire at the crowd, killing 69 people and wounding 180 in Sharpeville. For his anti-apartheid activism, Sobukwe was arrested and held in solitary confinement in a house on Robben Island, some distance away from the Maximum Security Prison, from 1963 to 1969.
“Banished to Robben Island, where he stayed under 24-hour guard in solitary confinement away from other prisoners for six years, Sobukwe continued to give hope to the hopeless to continue the good fight for freedom.
“May we remember Sobukwe and the countless other freedom fighters who fought bravely for us to enjoy the right to life, equality, and human dignity. What is more, may we carry forward their efforts towards a peaceful and prosperous South Africa for ourselves and future generations,” RIM said.
Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture Nocawe Mafu, the Sobukwe Trust and the Nelson Mandela Foundation will be among the entities who will deliver talks on the lives of these two Struggle giants at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island, at the V&A Waterfront this afternoon.