Introductory remarks by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the Freedom Day Celebrations, at Botshabelo, Free State Province

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27 Apr 2021

My core Programme Director: MEC Mahasa
His Excellency the President of the Republic; MC Ramaphosa.
Hon. S Ntombela, Premier of the Province.
Cllr L Masoetsa, Acting Mayor of Mangaung.
Ministers and Deputy Ministers present
Members of the Executive Council present
Councillors present.
Distinguished guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning fellow South Africans, today I have been assigned an easy task, the task to introduce the President of the Democratic Republic.

Today, we have gathered here to mark an achievement by ordinary South Africans. The road to democracy in South Africa was marked by centuries of racial and economic subjugation discrimination and oppression, with many ordinary South Africans, especially the youth, making the ultimate sacrifice in the quest for freedom and democracy. Today, South Africa is a thriving and growing constitutional democracy as a result of the countless sacrifices made.

The 2021 Freedom Day is celebrated under the theme, The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: The Meaning of Freedom under COVID-19.

This year marks one hundred and fifty years of the birth of two African Patriots; Mama Charlotte Maxeke and Dr John Langalibalele “Mafukuzela” Dube, who was the founding President General of the Governing Party, the African National Congress. These two African patriots went on to distinguish themselves during their lifetime in service of humanity.

From the theme, you will also notice that the name of uMama Charlotte Maxeke is being invoked as a way to keep her as part of the nation’s collective memory and consciousness.

It is also our way of memorialising her and making a positive contribution in the transformation of our liberation heritage narrative, which is mainly patriarchal and male dominated. We thought she needed to be honoured this way in 2021, as a fitting tribute to her life of service and sacrifice, and more specifically, for her role in the attainment of the freedom and democracy we celebrate and enjoy today.

The struggles of these two iconic figures of our country have left us a legacy of never allow your circumstances to determine your destiny.

Throughout their lives they have fought for the restoration of human rights to Africans both at home and across the globe. They understood the nexus of race, class and gender in our struggles both at home and elsewhere in the world.

These giants of our country lived because they had surrendered their very beings to the people. They lived because their very beings embodied love, an idea, a hope, an aspiration, a vision of our collective destination.

In conclusion Mr President, I need to remind all of us that this year marks the 25th Anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution of the Republic into law. Amongst those who were central in the crafting of this world renown Constitution is your President, Mr CM Ramaphosa. We thank His Excellency and other fellow South Africans that you worked with in bringing to life this Constitution.

I am not here to speak as I have indicated before, I now call the President of the Republic to address the nation.

Thank you for your attention.