Freedom Month 2013

Freedom Month is observed in April throughout South Africa to celebrate the dawn of freedom and democracy and the achievements of all South Africans in moving away from hatred, divisions and a painful history to build a common future together.

The month is celebrated under the theme “Mobilising society towards consolidating our democracy and freedom”.

The month of April derives its significance from 27 April 1994, when South Africa held its first democratic elections. The day, known as Freedom Day, is an occasion for the country to remember and celebrate struggle icons and honour those who continue to be committed to transformation and to building a better life for all of us.

South Africa remembers its national heroes and heroines by conferring National Orders on its distinguished citizens. The national orders reflect the inclusiveness and diversity of a democratic South Africa, our people and our place in the African continent - in essence, the spirit of the new South Africa.

Freedom Day represents peace, unity, and the restoration of human dignity of all South Africans. It is a reminder of the countless sacrifices made by our countrymen; and a chance to ensure that no one will ever take our hard won freedom for granted.

South Africa has taken many strides away from its past of exclusion and discrimination on the basis of sex, colour and creed. The country has been steadily moving forward in a direction that reasserts our humanity.

In this march towards humanity, a new culture of human rights and a respect for the dignity of the human spirit have become characteristics of South Africa.

One of the symbolic moments of the exodus from the past was the raising of the new flag in 1994. This moment aptly affirmed the pride and dignity of an unfolding country and a celebration of humanity.

Another was the unveiling of a new Coat of Arms on 27 April 2000 that embraced the collective historical essence of the people of the country. In so doing, a new aesthetic that takes consideration of Africa and her symbols became part of the new culture that informs a South African rebirth.

The 2013 celebrations for Freedom Month take on special significance as the nation prepares to commemorate 20 years of freedom in 2014.

It has been 19 years since the advent of democracy, and the President will look at the achievements that have been made in entrenching democracy and creating a better life for all.

Freedom Day reaffirms our freedom and ensures that the violation of such rights never occurs again.

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