SA celebrates 23 years of freedom

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pretoria - South Africans all over the country today commemorate the 23rd Freedom Day anniversary.

Freedom Day marks a significant day on the South African calendar, as it was on this day in 1994 that all South Africans exercised their democratic right to vote, giving birth to the country’s freedom and constitutional democracy.

The day will be used to reflect on the achievements that the country has scored since 1994, while reflecting on work that still needs to be done to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma will lead the main Freedom Day celebrations in Manguzi, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘The year of OR Tambo: Together deepening democracy and building safer and crime-free communities’.

The celebrations will focus on the fight against crime, with a special focus on cross-border crime, particularly car hijackings that occur between South Africa and Mozambique.

The President will use his Freedom Day message to promote united action between community members and the police and other law enforcement agencies in fighting crime and building safer communities.

President Zuma has been running a national anti-crime campaign and has visited some communities around the country, including Umhlabuyalingana in KwaZulu-Natal in March.

Government, through the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Cross-border Crime, has since the President’s visit to uMhlabuyalingana, been hard at work to address some of the concerns citizens have raised. 

Celebrations of Freedom Day will take place across the country in remembrance of those who paved the way for South Africa’s hard earned freedom. In Gauteng, the provincial government will hold celebrations in Atteridgeville, Tshwane. 

The day will kick off with a wreath-laying ceremony by Premier David Makhura and City of Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga at the SS Mendi Memorial Site situated at Ga-Mothakga Resort. This will be followed by a two kilometre colourful parade to Mbolekwa Sport Complex, which will be joined by representatives from the African Diaspora.

This is done to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the SS Mendi, which claimed the lives of 616 South Africans, including 607 black troops serving in the South African Native Labour Contingent. –

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