STUC welcomes first Mandela Day Celebrations in Scotland

July 17th 2012


The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has welcomed the formal celebration of Mandela Day (Wednesday 18 July) in Scotland. To mark the inaugural celebrations the STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith will join the First Minister, Alex Salmond and the South African High Commissioner, Dr Zola Skweyiya in events to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday by taking part in events to send 50,000 donated books in a container to Eastern Cape libraries in South Africa.

Speaking prior to the events STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“The STUC is delighted to have worked with the Scottish Government to ensure that Mandela Day will be marked each year in Scotland.

“There is no-one more inspirational than Nelson Mandela and the victory over apartheid is most certainly worth celebrating.

“We pay tribute to all those involved in the Anti Apartheid Movement, and its successor ACTSA. International pressure, including support from Scotland, was fundamental in the struggle to overthrow apartheid. And it is important that no one forgets that this was done against the backdrop of a Thatcher Government which acted as an apologist for apartheid South Africa.

“At this year’s STUC Congress in Inverness our delegates and visitors contributed to the Community Heart Book appeal, and those donations form part of the shipment being sent today to libraries in South Africa. I would like to thanks all those, including many trade union members and civil servants in Scotland, who have time this morning to help to load the container as part of an international commitment of 67 minutes of voluntary service to the community to make Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of public service. ”


For further information contact Ann Henderson 0141 337 8100

Or Brian Filling Chair, ACTSA Scotland Honorary Consul for South Africa email:

Notes for editors

Wednesday 18 July 2012 At 1.30pm the South African High Commissioner, Dr Zola Skweyiya and the Scottish First Minister, Rt Hon Alex Salmond will thank the volunteer book loaders at Hillhead Library, Burgh Lane.

At 3.30pm on in George Square, Glasgow, 50,000 books will be sent off in a container to Eastern Cape libraries in South Africa.

The send-off will be conducted by ACTSA Scotland Chair and Honorary Consul for South Africa, Brian Filling, the South African High Commissioner, Dr Zola Skweyiya, Scottish Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay, STUC General Secretary, Grahame Smith.

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