Today, 15 December 2014, the Nelson Mandela Foundation partnered with the African National Congress (ANC) to commemorate the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela being laid to rest in Qunu on 15 December 2013. Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, gave the keynote address as a closing to the tribute period.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has, over the last ten days, organised and participated in numerous events, gatherings and projects to mark the first anniversary of the passing of our beloved Founder, Madiba. It has been extremely moving to see demonstrated once again Madiba’s power to unite people on a global scale. People the world over joined South Africans in remembering a historic icon as the first democratically elected President of South Africa and true man of the people.
Madiba was a member of the ANC from 1944 until his passing. It shaped him politically and nurtured him over decades in collective leadership structures.
The event also signified two notable milestones. Firstly, it coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Mr Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. Later this week, the Foundation will be releasing a compelling and provocative online feature about the writing of Long Walk, which started in 1976, and the text’s long journey to publication in 1994.
Secondly, it is not widely known that Mr Mandela intended to write a sequel to Long Walk. Indeed, in 1998 he started the manuscript of a work he provisionally titled The Presidential Years and kept working on it until 2002, when he finally ran out of steam.
The Foundation’s archive has versions of ten chapters from that work. The Foundation has embarked on a project to see the completion of The Presidential Years as an authorised account of Mr Mandela’s presidency. We are working closely with government and the ANC, and are aiming to publish the work in 2015.