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Thirty years after the end of Madiba’s long walk to freedom the world still celebrates

Thirty years after the end of Madiba’s long walk to freedom the world still celebrates

Thirty years ago on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of the Pollsmoor Prison some 50 kilometres from Cape Town, a free man. His comrades took him to the Cape Town City Hall that same day where he addressed a very large crowd. This was his first public appearance as a free man. It was also in time for him to attend the Namibian Independence celebrations in Windhoek on 21 March 1990.

Commemorating this crucial turn in the liberation history of southern Africa, the current South African President, HE Cyril Ramaphosa this week honoured his mentor’s legacy by addressing a colourful crowd from that same city hall balcony. This time, the timeless leader metaphorically oversaw the doings of his underling with his statue gazing over the crowd.

The Office of President Ramaphosa said “The commemoration themed“From Freedom to Liberation” fosters critical thought, reflection and [intends] to inspire greater social cohesion by reminding South Africans and the world that South Africa overcame apartheid as a nation and the nation is therefore capable of overcoming its current struggles.”

Coinciding with this week’s celebrations, is the launch of the Mandela Freedom Project by his descendants, styling themselves as “The House of Mandela.”

“The Freedom Project is a unifying global initiative to advance what Mandela called “freedom to be free,” with the goal of creating a global platform for conversation, understanding, and action that fosters freedom in all walks of life,” stated the House of Mandela.

Working with strategic partners and a focus on targeted geographic locations beginning with the three cradles of modern freedom movements – South Africa, the United States and India – the project will activate global networks, live events, and public action in response to Mandela’s call.

“Freedom in 2020 has taken on a new meaning,” said Maki Mandela, Mandela’s daughter and Chairman of the House of Mandela. “It’s disruptive and very much alive but it’s also being challenged by a new breed of leaders who don’t see the need in honouring its principal basis of being universal and generally accepted as a human right. As a family we join millions around the world to define a new chapter of Freedom, one built on trust, understanding and unity.”

Caption: A Nelson Mandela edifice marks the spot where he stood thirty years ago to deliver his first public address as a free man. This week, that momentous occasion was remembered by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa as he spoke to a large crowd in front of the Cape Town City Hall. (Photograph by Kopano Tlape, GCIS)


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.