Fifth race in Madiba’s honour
It’s often said that sport and politics don’t mix, but our country’s first democratic leader put paid to that. S’Busiso Mseleku looks ahead to this year’s Mandela Day Marathon
Former president Nelson Mandela’s name has been used to promote everything from products and art to music, charities and sportsrelated events. His love for boxing, a sport that he took up as a young man, is legendary – as is his singling out of sport as the catalyst for nation-building. The 1995 rugby World Cup, from which the Springboks emerged the victors, is a classic example of the statesman’s knack for breaking down barriers, and became an integral part of the phenomenon commonly referred to as “Madiba magic”.
Accordingly, this year sees the fifth Mandela Day Marathon take place on a historic course that starts at Manaye Hall in KwaZuluNatal’s Imbali township, and ends at the site where Mandela was captured in Howick on August 5 1962, leading to his 27 years of incarceration (see graphic).
Manaye Hall, which falls under Msunduzi Municipality, was where Mandela made his last speech as a free man on March 26 1961. The race’s end point, in Howick, falls