Newswire:  Global Citizens Fest honors Mandela legacy amidst huge crowd of Beyonce fans

Dec. 3, 2018 (GIN) – A massive turnout of die-hard fans of superstars Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z filled every available square inch of the Johannesburg FNB stadium for the closing night of the Global Citizen Festival organized to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and raise $1 billion to address poverty, food security, global health and other social issues. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the headline act for the standing room only closing affair that featured a 90 minute performance with the popular superstars that included a rendition of her 2008 single “Halo” accompanied by a South African choir. Those watching the show online, which also included appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Usher, Trevor Noah and Naomi Campbell, were only allowed to see 25 minutes of the two hour-plus set which caused bitter complaints across social media. Among the highlights of the free-ticketed event was a promise by billionaire Patrice Motsepe to give $250 million to support farming and agriculture in South Africa. Other major partners include Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Big Concerts, House of Mandela, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers, Eldridge Industries, and Associate Partner, HP. “Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million people by 2030,” organizers reported. As the exhausted fans left the stadium, however, joy turned to horror as the perimeter of the area was at a standstill with major traffic congestion, lack of public transportation and an absence of security, allowing robberies, violence and complete disorder to flourish. Much of this was documented on social media. Concert-goer and witness Catherine Constantinides, director of the Miss Earth SA program, said “it was more than mugging and taking phones”. “You prayed with your life not to be stabbed, punched or brutally attacked, all of which I witnessed,” she wrote on her verified Twitter account. The charity event also left a worrying question to be answered. Who would administer the giant sums promised – the government or the donors? An answer to that question should be forthcoming.

Newswire : ‘Morally Wrong’: former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon condemns US for not having Universal Health Care

 By Amanda Michelle Gomez, ThinkProgress

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Failing to provide health care to 29.3 million people is “unethical” and “politically wrong, morally wrong,” said former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an interview with the Guardian. The U.S. is the only wealthy country without universal coverage — and Ban faults “powerful” interest groups within the pharmaceutical, hospitals, and doctors sector. “Here, the political interest groups are so, so powerful,” Ban said. “Even president, Congress, senators and representatives of the House, they cannot do much so they are easily influenced by these special interest groups.” Ban is hardly alone in his disillusionment with the U.S. health care system and is definitely not the first foreign leader to call the United States out. When President Donald Trump attacked Britain’s health system to slam Democrats running on universal health care, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt blasted him back on Twitter, saying no one in his country “wants to live in a system where 28m people have no coverage.” It’s a well-known fact that the U.S. is an outlier in the developed world, as we spend more on health care but have worse health outcomes than other countries. Indeed, health spending is projected to rise 5.5 percent, on average, annually from 2017 to 2026 according to the federal health department. And while health spending is expected to make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. economy in 2026, the uninsured population is also expected to rise. “It seems with Trump just undoing Obamacare, people were not happy first of all,” said Ban about the Trump administration’s reforms that, so far, have undermined the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “Ironically, it might have motivated people to think other ways, and influence their senators, and their Congressman to think the other way.” Ban’s observations hold. A recent poll finds a majority of the public favors single-payer, meaning they’d want to replace the current private-public insurance patchwork system with a single government plan. Support for single payer or Medicare for All became especially pronounced after Republicans tried to repeal and replace the ACA, jeopardizing quality insurance particularly for those with pre-existing conditions. Since Medicare for All garnered critical support from likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, health care industry groups launched a lobbying group against single-payer plans. The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is comprised of major players including America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the American Medical Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals. Ban hopes California and New York will ultimately pass single-payer bills currently stalled in each state’s legislature, sparking a national wake-up call. “It will be either California or New York who will introduce this system,” he told the Guardian. “Then I think there will be many more states who will try to follow suit. I think that’s an encouraging phenomenon we see.” Ban made his comments as a member of The Elders, a peace and human rights organization launched by Nelson Mandela to promote ideas like universal health care. His interview with the Guardian isn’t the first time he’s criticized Trump for undermining coverage and urging states like California to embrace single payer. He recently spoke at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he also said, “the good news is that at a state level things appear to be changing for the better.”

Newswire : World leaders flock to U.N. ‘Peace Summit” to rebuke ‘America First’ and unveil statue honoring Mandela

 Pres. C. Ramaphosa of South Africa at left and UN Secy Gen. A. Guterres on right unveil statue of Nelson

Mandela Sept. 24, 2018 (GIN) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa couldn’t be prouder as he unveiled a life-size statue of Nelson Mandela on the eve of the U.N. General Assembly and the opening of a day-long ‘peace summit’ with nearly 160 scheduled speakers . The statue is a gift to the United Nations from South Africa. “The people of our country, united in their diversity, revere Nelson Mandela as the founding father of our democratic nation,” he said to a gathering of U.N. delegates, “whose life, sacrifices and extraordinary contribution to freedom continues to inspire successive generations.” Mandela’s arms are outstretched, as if to embrace people everywhere. The Nelson Mandela Peace Summit marks the centenary of Mandela’s birth. The years 2019-2028 will be declared the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace,” and world leaders will be asked to “redouble efforts to pursue international peace and security, development and human rights”. This year also marks President Ramaphosa’s inaugural participation in the General Assembly as head of state where he will outline South Africa’s domestic and foreign policy goals including the long-awaited land reform program. The original plan, including expropriation without compensation, appears to be headed for an uphill battle with some economists saying this would violate the Constitution. Shortly after the statue unveiling, President Donald Trump arrived in the building and made a brief appearance at a separate event on fighting the global scourge of illegal drugs. According to the IRIN news agency, heads of delegations were told to sign a non-negotiable text to appear at the photo-op with Trump. At least 124 agreed, but several high-profile holdouts refused, and the EU has drawn up its own dueling letter. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the world is far from achieving Mandela’s ideals which also include human rights and global cooperation. “Today, with human rights under growing pressure around the world, we would be well served by reflecting on the example of this outstanding man,” Guterres said referring to Madiba. “We need to face the forces that threaten us with the wisdom, courage and fortitude that Nelson Mandela embodied.” Pres. Trump will also preside over a Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

Newswire : In South Africa: former President Obama denounces Trump without using his name

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

President Barack Obama in Johannesburg, South Africa

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Former President Barack Obama spoke at the centennial celebration in Johannesburg, South Africa, of Nelson Mandela’s birth by denouncing President Donald Trump without mentioning his name.  A day after Trump met in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Obama criticized strongmen politics. “The politics of fear, resentment is on the move at a pace unimaginable just few years ago,” Obama told thousands at Wanderers Stadium. The audience gave him a standing ovation. He added that the free press and other values are under threat. Obama noted that there is a loss of shame when political leaders are caught in lies and they double down and lie some more. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was elected to office in 1994. He was born July 18, 1918. He was 95 when he died in 2013. Obama praised Mandela’s style of leadership and encouraged the youth to emulate it. “Every generation has the opportunity to remake the world,” Obama said, speaking directly to the youth in the audience. “Mandela said, ‘Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.’ Now is a good time to be aroused. Now is a good time to be fired up.” He continued, “And, for those of us who care about the legacy that we honor here today – about equality and dignity and democracy and solidarity and kindness, those of us who remain young at heart, if not in body – we have an obligation to help our youth succeed. Some of you know, here in South Africa, my Foundation is convening over the last few days, two hundred young people from across this continent who are doing the hard work of making change in their communities; who reflect Madiba’s values, who are poised to lead the way.”

Newswire : In South Africa, pain and shock at passing of Winnie Madikizela Mandela

death-winniemandela2
  Winnie Mandela

(TriceEdneyWire.com/GIN) – Tributes to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela filled the South African radio air waves this week as news of her untimely passing reached the far corners of the nation and the continent.
Heart-rending classics from the American songbook – from The Song for Mama by Boyz to Men to Donny Hathaway’s A Song for You – expressed the somber mood in the nation while social media filled with remembrances by those whose lives she touched – sometimes with a single word, sometimes with a long eulogy.
“The big tree has fallen the #MotherOfTheNation, a nation builder ulale kahle mama you have fought a good fight,you’ll remain in our hearts,” wrote AndileKaMajola on Twitter. “How I wish to have met you,” wrote Sego Bae we EFF from South Africa’s city of Randburg. “You are a woman of steel and no one will ever take away that from you mama Winnie Nonzamo Mandela. May your lovely soul rest in peace.”
The former wife of Robbin Island prisoner later president Nelson Mandela, Winnie had been in and out of Netcare Milpark Hospital battling a kidney infection, according to her spokesman, Victor Dlamini. A message from the family read: “Altho we are gutted by her passing, we are grateful for the gift of her life.”
Recently, she was an observer during the ANC’s struggle over corruption allegations that enveloped past president Jacob Zuma. She expressed confidence in the new leadership of the ANC under Cyril Ramaphosa. “We’re going to surprise the country. I’ve told them they must watch this space. I’m back,” she declared.
Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was one of nine children – six of them daughters – of two teachers and devout Methodists, Columbus Madikizela and his wife, Gertrude.
When Madikizela-Mandela moved to Johannesburg, she studied social work. There she met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957 and they married a year later and had two children.
The marriage was short-lived as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990.
Winnie was a strong single parent who raised two children while her “larger than life” husband was in prison. This was a time that the ANC and the country overall was “gendered”, spurring her struggle for women’s rights.
In May 1969, Winnie was jailed supposedly for political agitation, but more likely for simply being the wife of Nelson Mandela. Held for 17 months, she spent most of the time in solitary confinement, and was interrogated and kept awake for up to five days at a time.
The picture of her hand-in-hand with Mandela as he walked free from prison after 27 years became one of the most recognizable symbols of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The Mandela family says it will release details of the memorial and funeral services once
these have been finalized. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an official
memorial on April 14 in Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
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Celebrate ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ with service and volunteerism

 

Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela's wife speak with  students

Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife speaks
with students

Jul 11, 2016 (GIN) – “Nelson Mandela International Day” – formalized by the U.N. General Assembly in November 2009 – recalls the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom on his birthday – July 18. It comes as Americans reflect on a wrenching week of race-related violence and the undeniable evidence of the persistence of intolerance that Mandela devoted his life to oppose.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation promotes acts of service to humanity on that day in his honor.
In December 2015, the General Assembly extended the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to raise awareness about persons in detention and to call for humane treatment of the incarcerated.
In South Africa, the 7th annual Bikers for Mandela Day will take the call for service to remote areas.
“We have crossed over 12 000 kilometers since the inception of this initiative in 2010 and assisted over 20 charitable organizations through Bikers for Mandela day.  We look forward to paying tribute to Madiba’s unwavering legacy once again.  We believe that every small action of goodwill leads to a larger movement in the right direction,” said organizer Zelda la Grange, formerly Madiba’s personal secretary.
In 2015, UN staff volunteers in New York, partnered with GreenThumb, East New York Farms, and the UN Food Garden, to plant seedlings, pull weeds, and water plant beds in community gardens across the city.
In Geneva, the Permanent Mission of South Africa and Serve the City Geneva have mobilized volunteers to help the poor and marginalized in the city.
Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, speaking to students this month at the Dr Mathole Motshekga Primary School in Tembisa, said: “Mandela Day gives us a way to energize our collective commitment, and it helps to know you are not doing this alone – there are millions of us. This helps build the movement of doing something good for someone else, selflessly caring for others, and remind ourselves that we belong to a global, human family.”
Also in South Africa, RACE (against time), a song against racism written and co-produced by Katlego Maboe, David Harmse and Ntokozo Mkhize will raise money for Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA).
Developed by The Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations, it takes a thoughtful look at the roots of racism. Maboe explains the title of the single: “There is a deliberate play on words. The issue of race is a matter of urgency for all of us and we all stand to lose and suffer the consequences if we don’t solve the problem in time.”
For more about the single, go to www.mitracks.fm/preorder/race-against-time