As South Africa marks the second anniversary of the death of former President Nelson Mandela, more and more inmates are rolling up their sleeves to create the biggest blanket in the world for Madiba.

It is expected that all the blankets will converge at Drakenstein, in the Western Cape, for the Guinness World Record attempt for the “Largest Crochet Blanket in the World”, made by inmates across South Africa, as part of the country’s 22 years of democracy celebrations next year on 22 April.

As part of the 67 Blankets for Mandela Day campaign, initiated by Carolyn Steyn, offenders have so far donated hundreds of blankets to disadvantaged South Africans. The motto of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day is “Stitch by stitch keep thousands upon thousands of people less fortunate than ourselves warmer over all the winters to come, in the name of our beloved Nelson Mandela”. As part of the roll-out to more correctional facilities across the country, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr. Thabang Makwetla, will join inmates at the East London Correctional Centre on Thursday.

Media is invited to attend the event. Details are as follows:

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2015

Time: 09h30 for 10h00

Venue: East London Correctional Centre, Eastern Cape

This programme was first introduced to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) at Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Gauteng. On 17 April 2015, offenders from Zonderwater personally handed over 400 blankets they had made at a special handover ceremony. Thus far, DCS has completed, and handed over, hundreds of blankets to 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day.

The campaign has been very well received in correctional centres. In addition to donating blankets to needy communities, this partnership is also enabling DCS to facilitate skills development by training offenders on the skill of crocheting; enabling offenders to realize their full creative potential through nurturing their creativity, expression and innovation; providing a tool for offender development; and preparing inmates for reintegration back into their communities.

We wish to request media attending to please confirm attendance by no later than 12h00 on Wednesday, 6 December 2015, by sending their full name, ID or passport number and mobile number to Zama Feni at or 082 558 3369.


News Reporter