Yesterday, we received the news that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died peacefully in his sleep. Much has and will be written about the impact this man has had on South Africa, the continent of Africa, and the rest of the world. I will never be as eloquent as others, and so I won’t try to be. What I do hope is that the city I now choose to call home will have the courage to do something it should have done decades ago, and give this great man a fitting tribute. I have circulated the following to all the party groups on the Council, as an emergency motion for next week’s full council meeting. As a South African citizen, I hope Scotland’s capital will honour Mandela, his life, work and memory.
EMERGENCY MOTION – NELSON MANDELA
Notes the death, last week, of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, freedom fighter and first president of post-apartheid South Africa;
Reaffirms the respect and high esteem the City has for him and his dedication to peace and reconciliation, declared 16 years ago when he was granted the Freedom of the City;
Agrees to commemorate the life of this remarkable man by renaming Festival Square “Nelson Mandela Square”, a fitting tribute being the site of the African Woman and Child statue, a symbol of support for the anti-apartheid struggle, and the site of many anti-apartheid protests in the past.