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In honour of a lifetime spent pursuing equality for all South Africans, the City of Johannesburg, in 2005, bestowed the Freedom of the City on its most revered resident, Nelson Mandela.

THE City of Johannesburg pays tribute to the memory of its most loved and celebrated resident, gallant fighter and Father of the Nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and his enduring legacy.

In 2005, five days after Nelson Mandela's 86th birthday, the City of Johannesburg bestowed on its most famous resident the Freedom of the City, at a ceremony held at the Orlando East Community Hall in Soweto; Mandela attended political meetings and boxing training half a century ago at the hall.

Mandela was the third person to receive the City's highest award. The first two recipients were also stalwarts in South Africa's liberation struggle: Walter Sisulu, who received the award in 1997, and Beyers Naudé, who received it in 2001.

The Freedom of the City is the highest recognition a city can pay to acknowledge an individual's contribution to the welfare of the city and its inhabitants. Madiba was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the struggle for freedom and democracy, and for his promotion of equality.

Mandela's famous words, "The struggle is my life", should not be taken lightly, the City of Johannesburg said in a statement. "He has sacrificed his private life and his youth for his people, and remains South Africa's best-loved personality."

The legacy of Madiba will continue to be an inspiration to the people of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa, Africa and the world for centuries to come.

Councillor Parks Tau, the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg says, "On behalf of the residents, Council and employees, we honour his memory with words of advice that we strive to let the good of our people to always remain supreme in all what we do. Johannesburg City will indeed continue to build on this legacy."