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‘When freedom is denied, dignity is denied’

The elders group honoured Madiba by launching the Walk Together campaign.

Graca Machel addresses a crowd gathered at the Grand Parade in Cape Town on Mandela Day, 18 July, 2017. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There were calls for action to realise a kinder and more just world on Tuesday as the nation celebrated the life and service of Nelson Mandela.

The Elders Group honoured Madiba by launching the Walk Together campaign.

The Elders is a forum of prominent global leaders founded 10 years ago by Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, who is part of the grouping. She spoke at an event in Cape Town.

Machel used her speech to take aim at dictators and authoritarians who subvert human rights and kill their own people.

“When freedom is denied, dignity is denied. In today’s world, 700 million children, the equivalent of the entire population of Europe, live in a state of distress.”

The Elders are embarking on a year-long campaign, aimed at addressing various challenges, like improving health for citizens.

Machel also used her speech to reflect on her late husband’s mandate to the Elders.

Machel says that Nelson Mandela was particularly passionate about improving healthcare.

“Madiba was the first in this country to come and embrace those who were suffering from HIV/Aids, to say every single one of them deserves to have treatment.”

WATCH: Graca Machel leads Mandela Day walk in Cape Town

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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