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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo joins with all its patrons, Joburg residents, South Africans and people across the globe in commemorating a year since the passing of Nelson Mandela, the first President of a democratic South Africa.

City Parks joins in commemorating Madiba's passing
A poster among the mass of flowers, candles, mementoes and other tributes that filled the pavements outside Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg following his passing on 5 December 2013. (Photo: www.gov.za)

President Jacob Zuma, in a statement issued ahead the anniversary, thanked South Africans for the "profound and dignified" send-off the nation accorded Tata Madiba following his passing at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.

"As we remember Madiba this week, let us do so through recommitting ourselves to advancing his vision of unity, reconciliation, global peace, development, prosperity  and a better life for all South Africans."

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, briefing journalists in Cape Town earlier in the week, announced that the Nelson Mandela Foundation would use the anniversary to launch a "buy-a-book" campaign to encourage members of the public to buy and donate books to their local library.

"Building on the buy-a-book campaign, the Department of Social Development requests South Africans to buy and donate books to their local early childhood development centres, in line with Mandela's vision for the nurturing and development of children," Dlamini said.

Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, urged South Africans to embrace the buy-a-book campaign, and in particular to buy indigenous language books and books suitable for children.

On Thursday, 4 December the Foundation opened a special multimedia exhibition experience, In Tribute to Nelson Mandela, featuring a selection of the messages and contributions received from across the globe following Madiba's passing, as well as the SA National Defence Force gun carriage that carried Madiba's coffin from Mthatha Airport to his burial place in Qunu.

The exhibition runs at the Foundation's Centre of Memory at 107 Central Avenue, Houghton, Johannesburg until the end of February 2015, and members of the public are invited to reflect on and experience Madiba's life and times by visiting the exhibition from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and 9am to 2pm on weekends.

The Centre of Memory will also host open days from 5 to 15 December, at the same times as the above, to allow the public to explore the centre.

And on 6 December, members of the public can attend Artists in Tribute to Madiba, a special session of poets, writers, performers and musicians led by Njabulo Ndebele, chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The event takes place from 11am to 1pm at the Centre of Memory.