South Africa has 11 official languages, though most people can speak English. Afrikaans and Xhosa are also widely spoken in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
About 3.5-million people live in Cape Town, South Africa’s second most-populated city.
Cape Town has a climate similar to that of California and the Mediterranean. Winter starts in May and ends in September and is generally a wet and windy season. Temperatures are cool and end to range between 7°C (45°F) and 17°C (63°F). Summer lasts from November to March and temperatures range between 19°C (66°F) and 35°C (95°F). The summer season is usually hot and sunny. It can be windy, but it doesn’t bring much rain.
Cape Town lies in the GMT +2 time zone and does not have daylight saving time.
The currency is the rand (ZAR). The South African exchange rate is favourable to most currencies, including the pound, euro and dollar. Most restaurants, shops and hotels accept international credit cards. Value added tax, or VAT, is 14% and is included in the price of all items, but can be claimed by foreign visitors when leaving the country.
South Africa is a large country, of 2 455km2 (948mi2).
“Passing of a great man”. People should not just praise Nelson Mandela but follow his example. He was humble but strong, committed but tolerant. He forgave his enemies but stuck to his principles. I spoke with him and interacted in Cape Town, South Africa. His life will continue to inspire me and people throughout the planet.
JOHANNESBURG – As millions worldwide bid farewell to Nelson Mandela, many Muslim eyes were turned back to history, reviving memories of a long history of interaction between Muslims and the iconic leader across the past decades.
Here are some key events that show a collection of milestones highlighting Mandela’s historic and warm interactions with Muslims, gathered by Cii Radio on Friday, December 6.
17 March 1992: Nelson Mandela pays a visit to the predominantly Muslim area of Bo Kaap in Cape Town – 17 March 1992
Mandela paid a visit to the predominantly Muslim area of Bo Kaap in Cape Town in 1992. He was met by, amongst others, the late author and historian Achmat Davids and the late Sheikh Nazeem Mohammed, then President of the Muslim Judicial Council.
24 March 1993: `Eid Message to the Muslim Community from ANC President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
In his message to Muslims in 1993, Mandela said, “I have always been particularly attached to the Muslim greeting – I thus greet you in the name of Peace.”
He has also praised the Muslim community, praying that their “sacrifice and discipline during the fast will stand this nation in good stead.”
He concluded his message saying, “On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and its entire membership I wish you all `Eid Mubarak and may you have a joyous day.”
9 May 1994: Nelson Mandela’s Address to the people of Cape Town, Grand Parade, on the Occasion of his inauguration as State President, 9 May 1994
In his inauguration speech, Mandela gave a remarkable speech which was concluded by the statement, “We can count amongst them Africans, Coloureds, Whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews – all of them united by a common vision of a better life for the people of this country.”
1994: Nelson Mandela received Sheikh Yusuf Peace Award from the Muslim Women’s Federation, 10 September
Message by Mr Nelson Mandela to Sheikh Gabier and the Muslim community on the birthday celebrations of Prophet Mohammed(Meelad un Nabi)
“Today is the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed and our thoughts will be with you and the entire Muslim community, wherever in the world they may be, as you all gather at the various mosques to pay homage to a unique religious leader, whose influence continues to spread to practically every part of the world and to every nation,” Mandela said in his message.
October 1994 – Prominent Scholar Ahmed Deedat has an interesting encounter with Mandela (as narrated by Goolam Vahed in his book, “Ahmed Deedat: The Man and His Mission” p. 19)
“In October 1994, Ahmed Deedat received a call from Saudi Arabia at his Verulam home. When told that it was Nelson Mandela, the new South African president, Deedat recalled: ‘At first I thought it was a prank call, and did not take the matter seriously. However, when I realized that it was indeed the State President, I nearly fell off my seat.’