South African president Jacob Zuma has unveiled a memorial site dedicated to Nelson Mandela in Howick, where he was arrested in 1962.
Marking the fateful day of August 5, 1962, Zuma, who unveiled Madiba’s statue on Saturday, reiterated that the monument should speak to all like a scared shrine and a place that must be treated with the utmost respect.
He said the arrest of Madiba in Howick had automatically turned the town into a heritage site and it would help raise awareness about the historic injustice meted out by the White racist apartheid regime while also promoting tourism and job creation.
“We must encourage generations to visit this place to see Madiba’s last point as a free man, those who do so, will be inspired by the sacrifice, commitment and dedication to this country and its people.
“Children in particular should be encouraged to visit the various liberation heritage sites around the country so that they can know and understand their country’s rich political history and its national heroes,” said Zuma.
He added that the occasion gave all of them an immense sense of pride and joy as it was a reminder of the rich political heritage of the country.
“Madiba has achieved a lot in his 94 years of life, although he has always remained modest and humble. Today we celebrate that sterling and visionary leadership that he displayed even in most trying conditions during the struggle for liberation…we celebrate lessons from Madiba one of which is humble leadership.”
Zuma also noted that Howick was famous for its scenery with beautiful hills and its close proximity to the magnificent Howick Falls, a major landmark and a tourist destination for many who visit the area.