Today marks 25 years of Freedom for our country.
The African National Congress (ANC) joins millions of South Africans in commemorating Freedom Day. This occasion demands that we reflect on the strides we have made as a nation since the dawn of democracy and the challenges that still lie ahead.
To the ANC, Freedom Day is a monumental milestone. We have come a long way as a nation.
After defeating apartheid, many of us thought that ending injustice and inequality would be easy to achieve. We achieved much but the struggle against poverty and hunger will not end until we radically interrupt the structure of our economy. The struggle for a better life for all must continue.
Freedom Day is a stark reminder that the freedom and rights that we enjoy today did not come cheap. Many people paid the ultimate price in the fight for democracy. In memory of the sacrifices of millions of South Africans, including those who lost their lives in the struggle, we have a duty to defend the gains of the national democratic revolution.
This day remains an important one to the ANC as we reflect on the journey we have traversed as a nation in our quest to build a humane and people-centred nation. The ANC calls on the entire nation never to forget where we come from and to continue with our journey to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.
Today should not be seen as an ordinary day. We must use this day to remember and pay tribute to many of our people who perished in the course of the struggle for freedom. While many strides have been made by the ANC government to improve the lives of South Africans, the ANC believes that more still needs to be done to expand access to a better life for all.
When the ANC was established in 1912, one of its key strategic objective was to build a united South Africa where people have equal rights. Undoing the legacy of our ugly past remains work in progress.
South Africans must always remember that apartheid was a system that used to thrive on building walls of division, a system that stifled the freedom and growth of all South Africans.
However, through the bravery of many leaders, including former President of the ANC John Langalibalele Dube, Inkosi Albert Luthuli, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, Lilian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Josie Palmer, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Joe Slovo, Braam Fischer, Walter Sisulu, Charlotte Maxeke, Ray Alexander, Gertrude Shope, Amina Cachalia, Dorothy Nyembe, Hellen Joseph, Amina Chachalia, Ahmed Kathrada
among many others, our country is now free.
The ANC calls on all South Africans to work together with their movement to demolish the demon and legacy of racism, sexism and its stubborn manifestations that continue to haunt our people.
The constitutional injunction which declares that the Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the values of human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedom remain our guiding light.
As our country marks two weeks before it goes into the sixth national general election, the ANC calls on all South Africans to join hands in our collective quest to grow South Africa together.