The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

MAN­DELA DAY has be­come a day on which the na­tion chooses char­ity.

Many will spend the bet­ter part of their time to­mor­row sup­port­ing and help­ing those in need.

To­day, the very same white Stinkwood tree planted by Madiba in cel­e­bra­tion of his 90th birth­day will be un­veiled as a her­itage site by the Pro­vin­cial Her­itage Re­sources Author­ity Gaut­eng.

The Nel­son Man­dela Cham­pion Tree was planted in Thokoza Park, Soweto, in 2008 to com­mem­o­rate Ar­bor Month as part of Jo­han­nes­burg City Parks’ tree-plant­ing cam­paign.

Noeleen Mat­tera of Jo­han­nes­burg City Parks and Zoo said the tree was planted as part of the Green­ing Soweto Le­gacy Project which started in 2006.

“It was aimed at plant­ing 200 000 trees to bridge the green di­vide between the tree vis­tas of the north and the sparse south of Joburg, and our tar­get was met.”

Mat­tera said Jo­han­nes­burg City Parks and Zoo had ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to the Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion in 2008 for Madiba to plant a tree for his 90th birth­day. The tree was the 90 990th to take root un­der the le­gacy project.

“To our ut­most de­light, he ac­cepted the in­vi­ta­tion, to­gether with his wife Graça Machel, and they planted the Stinkwood, which has now been gazetted as a her­itage site.”

On the day of the tree plant­ing, Machel helped Madiba lift a spade and fill the hole with soil.


GREAT ROOTS: Nel­son Man­dela and his wife Graça Machel planted the 90 990th tree in Soweto in cel­e­bra­tion of Ar­bor Week in Septem­ber 2008. The tree has now been de­clared a her­itage site.

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