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Inmates plant trees to mark Mandela's birthday

07-18-2013 15:35 BJT Special Report: Mandela in Critical Condition |

As the whole of South Africa celebrates Mandela Day, which falls on July 18th, prison inmates in the country have found their own way to pay tribute to the former president.

Everyone is celebrating everyone, including the prisoners.

They’ve all come to the neighbouring communities, to repair houses, clean away rubbish and plant trees as a way of honouring Mandela.

In a prison in Johannesburg, prisoners also do work for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. They help to distribute school supplies to children in the communities.

And in Cape Town, prisoners in Riebeeck West have planted a total of 95 trees along the roadsides. And it is more than a tree planting program.

"Today we here on the west coast to plant 95 trees to symbolizing the 95th birthday of president Nelson Mandela. As the Department of correction services, we think it is very important to protect our nature. One of the things to protect nature is to plant trees." Delekile J. Klaas, Regional Commissioner, Western Cape Region said.

Nelson Mandela, endured a 27-year long prison term for his part in the anti-apartheid movement.

His advocacy for equality and democracy has taken root in the minds of South Africans.

Mandela has called all prisoners to wash their hands of crime, and show respect with their actions.

His message is echoed in Cape Town Prison.

"today I plant trees, I celebrate madiba who was 27 years in prison, if i come out to make better for the people to learn about the trees to show them out how to plant trees and built our better country. " William Oaverwacht, Inmate said.

The regional commissioner says each prisoner adopts a tree and continues to tend it after they leave prison. Planting trees plays a positive role in the rehabilitation of the inmates.

And the prisoners are also sending their prayers and well wishes to their beloved leader in the form of singing and dancing.

The scene here demonstrates the undying appreciation for Mandela in the hearts of all South Africans.


Editor:James |Source:

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