SA deserves to celebrate 20 Years of Freedom

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pretoria - Coming from a history of struggle South Africa, a country which is an example of what humanity can do to bring about a better world, deserves to celebrate 20 years of freedom, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

“My gut reaction to this celebration is that we deserve it; we have earned it in many remarkable ways. We have earned this historic moment through the epochal struggles we have launched to free the South African population from the clutches of a backward and indeed inhuman ideology,” said the Deputy President on Thursday.

Deputy President Motlanthe - who is on a working visit to the UK - was speaking at a ceremony to mark South Africa’s 20 years of democracy at the South African House in London.

Two decades later, South Africa is a different nation by all accounts, he said.

“We are a shining example of what humanity can do to bring about a better world.”

This Sunday, South Africans across the country will celebrate their freedom with President Jacob Zuma expected to officiate the main address of the day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The day 27 April 2014 will mark two decades since South Africans of all races voted in the country’s first free and fair election in 1994, ushering in a new democratic dispensation.

The country, said Deputy President Motlanthe, is consolidating social cohesion and a national identity that is representative of its rich and diverse culture.

“In this task we are galvanized by the strategic vision to consolidate unity, democracy, non-racialism, non-sexism and prosperity,” said the deputy president.

The passing away of former President Nelson Mandela in December last year, left the country a legacy that is constitutive of the foundation of the inclusive nationhood.

“It is a legacy that resonates with the preamble of our constitution: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. South Africa is a microcosm of the world, having attracted the people from all corners of the world over time. Similarly our anti-apartheid struggle was a broad front comprising members of all sections of our society.”

The biggest task facing the country, said the deputy president, is that of ensuring a growing and prosperous economy to ensure a better life for all South Africans especially those coming from a background of historic exclusion.

“Without a growing economy to extricate South Africans from the abyss of poverty, unemployment and inequality democracy holds out no meaning. In fact, no democracy can survive under conditions of want, penury and social bleakness,” said the deputy president.

All South Africans have a good reason to celebrate the benefits attained through freedom, and so do the people of the world as a whole.

However, the celebrations do not represent the end of the journey but the beginning to address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequity.

Deputy President Motlanthe thanked the UK for joining in the celebrations of 20 years of freedom.SAnews.gov.za

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