SA celebrates Freedom Day

Monday, April 27, 2009

Durban - Millions of South Africans are on Monday celebrating the achievement of freedom and democracy in the country.

For the past 15 years Freedom Day has been celebrated on 27 April as this was the day the first democratic elections were held in 1994.

This year, Freedom Day is being held against the backdrop of the country's fourth General Election which was held last week. South Africans were able to cast their vote, free of fear or favour, in a country where democratic processes are a top priority.

More than 17 million South Africans exercised their hard-won right to vote.

The African National Congress won the election by 65.90 percent. The Democratic Alliance and official opposition party received a 16.66 percent of votes. Newcomer Congress of the People received 7.42 percent of the votes.

The thousands who have begun gathering at the Absa Stadium in Durban comprises of a mix of old and young. Many of the youngsters who were not part of the struggle still feel the comradeship of the South Africans that fought for freedom.

In celebration of our resilience and maturing democracy, President Kgalema Motlanthe is expected to attend the event, accompanied by Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sibusiso Ndebele.

The day will kick off with a cultural parade where the Umthwalume Brass Band will play and different cultural groups and churches such as the Nazareth Baptist Church, St John's Church will showcase their colourful religions.

The day will also blessed through the prayers of various religions such as Islam, Hindu and Christian.

Local musicians of the likes of gospel sensation Deborah Fraiser, maskandi singer Phuzakhemisi and Kwaito stars AfroSoul and DJ Tira will be entertaining the people later by the day

Held under the theme: 'Together celebrating a vibrant democracy and build in abetter life for all', Freedom Day is a call to all South Africans to be proud of the vibrant democracy.

According to the Department of Arts and Culture, the theme invokes a spirit of hope and resilience.

It communicates a message to our people, that together we must build our nation and take advantage of the benefits and opportunities created by democracy so that we fully realize our vision to create a better life for all.

In addition to the national celebrations, the other provinces will host their own events and cultural performances to commemorate the day.

Government calls on South Africans to renew their commitment towards building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic society.