Item 1169 - Message to the 9th African Athletics Championships by Nelson Mandela

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ZA COM MR-S-1169


Message to the 9th African Athletics Championships by Nelson Mandela


  • 1993-06-23 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

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9th African Athletics Championships

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  • English

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It is with profound regret that I send you this message instead of being present with you on this auspicious occasion. I have been called upon to remain in Johannesburg to attend to some very crucial matters. I am certain that everyone present here will understand and will pardon my absence as it is my sincere hope that my engagement in Johannesburg will assist in facilitating a smooth transformation of our country into a true non-racial democracy which we, both South African and Africans, genuinely desire.

Today is the first gathering on our soil of so many African sportsmen and women for a single event. The organisers have assembled over 500 athletes from 37 countries to compete for Africa's top honours in Track and Field events.

Just over a year ago I had the pleasure in welcoming officials and athletes from the African Amateur Athletic Confederation and the International Amateur Athletic Federation prior to the African Unity Games in Germiston. That provided me with a great thrill.

African athletes have in the past produced extraordinary results in World Championships and at the Olympic Games. African athletes have been most sought-after for all of the world's most prestigious games. I am certain that the Championships in Durban will identify Africa's contemporary best who will go on to give the world so much pleasure and delight as Africa's sporting heroes like Kip Kino, Abbe Bacilli, John Akin-baa, Said Ada, Mohammed Gambade and many others too numerous to mention here, have done in the past.

Sports is well known for its ability to build and strengthen relations of friendship amongst peoples. It is very significant for us that this event takes place in our country, and in Durban in particular, a city in a province which has witnessed many killings and maiming of our people. Our country and our people need peace and friendship. We hope that the sporting spirit which will prevail during these competitions will penetrate our communities and inspire all of us to work for tolerance and friendship amongst all our people.

We look forward to all the competitors to give their best. I therefore, take this opportunity to wish all participants the very best in their performance and a pleasant stay in South Africa.

Nelson R. Mandela
Johannesburg, 23 June 1993.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 19/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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