Pretoria - A champion and leader for peace and reconciliation, much like former statesman Nelson Mandela, is what South Africa needs to reignite the spirit of forgiveness and keep moving towards a united country.
South Africa needs a leader who will help revive the programmes and aspirations to reconnect with each other and come together.
So said revellers who took part in the annual Mandela Remembrance Walk held at the Freedom Park Heritage site and museum over the weekend.
Jane Mufamadi, CEO of Freedom Park, said the park had launched the Remembrance Walk in honour of the former president to pay homage to him as he was patron-in-chief when the park was launched.
Mufamadi said that the walk served to remember Mandela, who died on December 5, 2013, but also remind South Africans of how the country had a giant of a legend who lived among them, and “had bequeathed to us the values we still needed today.
“As we do the remembrance walk we are reminding South Africans to be tolerant and peaceful and forge unity, but most importantly not to give up when things are tough.
“All we hope for is to reignite the spirit of ubuntu among citizens.”
The walk's theme, “A decade of peace,” according to Mufamadi, was appropriate as there was a shortage of it not just in South Africa but the world over, considering the many conflicts and difficulties being witnessed in the present day.
Princess Stella Sigcau II, who attended the walk, she said the country had come far in terms of where it was in 1994, but reconciliation was still very important for the country.
Sigcau said considering how reconciliation was one of the main things that Mandela stood for and represented, it was more than fitting to hold the remembrance walk in his honour this year.
“Reconciliation is a process but we’ve come far and we’re not the same as we were before.
“We’ve done relatively well, but we have to think in terms of moving forward. What is the hurdle preventing us from being truly united.”
Participant Lunga Dikoloti said the walk was special as it brought together people from all walks of life, ages, cultures and genders to introspect on the year’s occurrences and the challenges ahead.
Dikoloti said he believed true reconciliation took time and was still to be fully realised by future generations, who needed to actively build a strong foundation for others to take forward.
“Reconciliation that is not built on a strong foundation may easily collapse. We have to accept that it is going to take time and that this is a generational matter for all of us to prioritise.
“Mandela had the magic touch, he made us forget our past and gave us that hope to say the storm is over.
“The reality we have to face is that a lot of work still needs to be done so that we do not lose focus of the ultimate goal,” he said.