Cape Town - Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Nelson Mandela Foundation will launch the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations at the upcoming International T20 double-header featuring the South African women’s and men’s teams against India.
The Centenary Celebration programme aims to honour the values and legacy of former President Nelson Mandela.
The double-header will be played at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday, February 18.
The matches will also serve as a celebration of 20 years of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.
As a further significance, the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations also coincide with the 125th anniversary of when Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off a train at the Pietmaritzburg Railway station after he refused to move from a whites’ only compartment.
In this 100th year celebration of the values and legacy in sport left by Nelson Mandela, the hosting of India during this 125th anniversary serves as a poignant reminder of Mandela’s values depicted through the unwavering style of leadership which has led many to regard him as a modern Gandhi.
Affirming the invaluable role of Nelson Mandela in unifying SA, Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi, highlighted that: "Nelson Mandela became a strong advocate of sports diplomacy in raising South Africa’s reputation and transforming the perception of South Africa from an apartheid state to a democratic nation. The spirit of Madibaness - the Madiba Magic Moment personified through our sports stars’ excellent performances whilst also uniting our country along the way - is a remarkable feature in the history of our sporting achievements. It is, in fact, these Madiba Magic Moments which we regard as a legacy left to the sporting fraternity. After all the nation continues to unite patriotically when an athlete delivers this Madiba Magic Moment."