International messages of support on launch of Freedom Month

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Several international nations have joined a chorus of voices in commemorating and congratulating South Africa as the country celebrates 30 years of freedom this year.

The launch of Freedom Month was held at Freedom Park on Tuesday morning in Pretoria with much fanfare, including the unveiling of the 30 Years of Freedom logo.

Delivering her message of support during the programme, High Commissioner of Zambia to South Africa, Mazuba Bernadine Monze, encouraged South Africans to remember and speak of the historical ties that the two countries share.

During the fight for liberation, Zambia was a sanctuary for safety for anti-apartheid freedom fighters, including Oliver Tambo and former President Thabo Mbeki.

“This celebration is truly Zambia’s celebration. I bring a message that is succinct and clear to the peoples of South Africa [that] across the Limpopo lies a land that has and will continue to stand firm in solidarity and brotherhood, and that land is called Zambia. To those of you who know the story, share it. Tell it to the generations and even those that are yet to come about our deep historical ties that bind us together as countries.

“The role of Zambia in South Africa’s liberation struggle… during the dark period of apartheid in South Africa, emerged as a beacon of hope and a steadfast supporter of the liberation struggle. Please allow me to congratulate [South Africa] on this auspicious occasion and wish… the people of this great nation a happy 30th anniversary of your freedom,” Monze said.

Ambassador Enrique Orta González of Cuba praised South Africa as a “symbol of solidarity and the struggle justice” for the downtrodden peoples of the world.

The nation of Cuba contributed to the fight against apartheid by offering training, medical care and study for struggle heroes in the 1960s.

“Today, on the eve of the 30 years of democracy in this beautiful country, we can affirm that South Africa has become a symbol of solidarity and struggle for justice. We are glad to see today an apartheid free, independent, sovereign South Africa in solidarity with the people fighting for the just causes of the world – supporting Palestine, Western Sahara, Venezuela and Cuba.

“Three decades after the defeat of apartheid, South Africa has risen as an example of the global South on how a society can leave hate and discrimination behind in order to be a better country, in order to become a true symbol of reconciliation, and give voice to those who stay in silence for many years.

“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the South African government and people on the 30th anniversary of democracy. On behalf of the government and people of Cuba, our sincerest wish is for prosperity, well being and happiness for our dear sister, the Republic of South Africa,” González said.

The High Commissioner of Lesotho, Ntsime Jafeta, noted that South Africa “defied all odds” by achieving democracy in the face of the brutal apartheid regime.

“On behalf of the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho… I wish to extend our sincere greetings and best wishes as you celebrate Freedom Month. We note with great joy and satisfaction the fact that this year’s commemoration coincides with the Lesotho bicentennial celebration to mark 200 years since the formation of the Basotho nation by King Moshoeshoe I in 1824.

“Despite your vulnerability and pressure from the apartheid regime, you defied all odds. You stood firmly on the side of freedom, peace and democracy. Let us… celebrate the gains brought by the struggles of our forebears, and ensure that sweat and blood nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of peace, democracy and justice to make the world a better place,” Jafeta said. –