Durban - A tree planting ceremony was held at the Resistance Park in Umbilo to honour great leaders including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Sekacheva Lyudmila, the president of the regional public organisation of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) was among the Russian delegation that visited the park, which is known for the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign.
The group planted five trees in honour of South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela, India's Mahatma Gandhi, Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure Confucius, Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and Brazil's Rio De Branco.
The event was in partnership with the eThekwini Parks and Recreation unit. This ceremony coincided with the 158th anniversary of the arrival of Indian to SA.
During the ceremony, Lyudmila announced the name of each tree and the significance of its planting.
When she approached the Schotia brachypetala tree - which is a weeping Boer-Boer tree, in honour of Mandela, she screamed “long live Nelson Mandela, long live” and her delegation followed.
Friday’s event was aimed at building friendly, respectful and trusting relations between the BRICS countries.
The delegation will also visit the Gandi Development Settlement to see the first house Mahatma Gandhi lived in.
Lyudmila said while the event aims to honour the BRICS teachers, it's also historic for the marking of 158 years since the arrival of Indians in the country.
“This event was not done by coincidence but rather a higher power. We can look back proud and know we managed to mark two great events today. In the long run, these trees will grow and bloom and be an aid to future generations.”