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19. Juli 2011

Former President Nelson Mandela´s birthday

South Africa 18 July 2011. Millions of school children throughout South Africa successfully sang the special rendition of Happy Birthday Madiba this morning. Ordinary South Africans also joined in the singing at 8.05am. The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, said: "I am deeply humbled by the response from our learners and from educators. The extra support from the broader community and the media to jointly play and sing the song will go down in history as one of the most memorable events in South Africa since the dawn of democracy."

"We’ve received overwhelming feedback from all corners of the country. All provinces are reporting that the national flag was hoisted, the National Anthem was sung and children stood side by side in their millions and sang Happy Birthday Tata with pride."

Special advisor to the Minister, Panyaza Lesufi, said: "The target was 12.4 million. I am confident that we have reached it and even exceeded all estimates with television and radio stations all playing the song at the same time. Citizens took the lead from the children and also joined in. We united the nation and we thank all our partners," said Lesufi.

Lead SA partnered with the Department of Basic Education, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Brand SA, the SABC and other media houses to get the nation to sing.

Minister Motshekga joined hundreds of learners at Tsakane Primary on the East Rand. Miss South Africa, Bokang Montjane, Miss Earth finalists and representatives of Lead SA also took part. Bokang said: "It was amazing to see our children sing with so much enthusiasm and realize what the day really represents. There is no doubt that Madiba magic swept South Africa today." The Minister also spent 67 minutes teaching a Grade 3 class at the school.

Miss South Africa together with Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee also spoke to children in several classes as part of their 67 minute contribution. Abramjee said: "Today, we stood united as a nation and sang Happy Birthday to Madiba with pride and passion. We thank the nation. The unity was overwhelming. Media houses all partnered in the true spirit of ubuntu. Lead SA is about standing up, doing the right thing and making a difference. Today, we did it. Let’s continue to lead in the days, months and years ahead."

All public, commercial and community radio stations as well television stations played the song at 8.05am. It’s estimated that the song was heard by some 30 million people. The song has also been downloaded in its thousands. It can still be accessed by SMSing 32 929 with the word MADIBA at a cost of R1. Minister Motshekga has again appealed to South Africans to dedicate 67 minutes of their time today "and make a difference".

Source: SA - the Good News

(Document available in English only)

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