The national transport department on Monday honoured anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela by awarding a road safety scholarship in his great-granddaughter’s name.
The Zenani Mandela road safety scholarship was awarded to Sianne Abrahams,
29, to carry forward the ethos and values of the Mandela family, Transport
Minister Sbu Ndebele said
in a speech prepared for delivery at Mbombela stadium on Monday.
He said the scholarship was meant to inspire young leaders of South Africa to
join a global movement in reducing road fatalities, a reality felt by Mandela
himself with the loss of two family members on local roads.
His eldest son, Madiba Thembekile, 24, died in 1969 in a car accident.
His great-granddaughter Zenani, 13, died while being driven home
after the opening ceremony of the FIFA Soccer World Cup in June last year.
“Road deaths have indeed, like the global icon that is Mandela, now become a
global phenomenon. The struggle to end road deaths has now become a matter for
international solidarity,” Ndebele said.
Abrahams, the first recipient of the scholarship established in April,
attended the Global Road Safety Programme in London at the start of July.
She said she felt honoured to be chosen to attend the training and intended
to carry on the legacy of the Mandela name.
“My first focus will be on reducing pedestrian fatalities which account for
about 40% of total road deaths…I will also look at educating the youth,” she
Ndebele said road safety education was the responsibility of all
“We all have the potential to make a difference in our own small way; however
insignificant it may seem to us.”
The Zenani Mandela road safety scholarship is being co-ordinated by the
Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Foundation together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.