Word Echoes from SANZ: “FREEDOM DAY”

Written by on April 27, 2018



On 27 April 1994, South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections were held
and this day is celebrated each year to mark the culmination of the long and difficult road to democracy.
Peace, unity, the preservation and the restoration of human dignity hallmarks Freedom Day celebrations.

Since the arrival of the White man at the Cape in 1652, the indigenous peoples
of South Africa came under White control and domination(Apartheid).
The exclusion of the majority of South Africans from political power
was at the centre of the liberation struggle and resistance to white minority rule.

With the formation of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1912, the resistance movement became formalised.
When the Congress of the People (held in Kliptown in 1955), adopted the Freedom Charter,
the blue-print for a democratic South Africa was laid.
The Charter affirmed ‘that South Africa belongs to all who live in it,
black and white, and that no Government can justly claim
authority unless it is based on the will of the people.’

Freedom day is not an African National Congress day, but a day for all South Africans.
When South Africa was liberated, both the oppressor and the oppressed were liberated.
We pledge “Never again would a minority government impose itself on the majority”.

South Africans are “One People with One destiny.”
On Freedom Day we celebrate the relentless efforts of those who fought for liberation,
of the many men and women who took up arms and courted imprisonment,
bannings and torture on behalf of the oppressed masses.
We need to remember the sacrifices that people made for us to exercise our freedom today.

However “Are we really free when our people remain poor, when there is
mass unemployment, unwarranted violence and crime? “
Poverty continues to exist with people of colour, women and children, the disabled and the elderly.
“We need to continue to work to eradicate poverty, racial inequalities and socio-economic disparities.”
Freedom Day means something very valuable, the necessary condition
for us to achieve the vital and fundamental objective of
a better life or all.

Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one,
as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment –
Nelson Mandela (on the 1st anniversary of the elections).

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that
respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela



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