On 27 April 1994, the chains of oppression in South Africa were cast off, and freedom was felt for the first time.
On that day, democratic elections signalled a journey from a broken past, to a healed future.
South Africans queued for hours, from before daybreak, to be part of a change we hoped would never be undone.
When President Mandela took office he expressed the hope that, out of the darkness of our past, would be “born a society of which all of humanity will be proud”.
Nelson Mandela, uTata Madiba, was a South African who worked every day for our freedom, and for the betterment of South Africa. He was a selfless leader, a compassionate leader, and a determined leader.
However, our society is still divided on the basis of race, and the circumstances of our birth. Freedom remains incomplete, without a reconciled and transformed South Africa.
We know that reconciliation is a journey, and not a destination. For as long as government does not deliver to our poorest communities, we will not bring about a fairer society, and our people will never be truly be free.
Recently we have seen the most terrible violence driven by xenophobia. We have seen South Africans beating and killing, looting and burning – chasing our neighbours, our brothers and sisters, with weapons and with hate.
Our freedom came through peace overcoming violence, and through love overcoming hate. A culture of xenophobia is not the South African way. It is not the Madiba way.
Our people are not free while they queue on the streets for casual work every day because they cannot find jobs. And our people are not free while we go without electricity, water, houses, and toilets.
Our people are not free while government corruption costs us billions of rands, and blocks delivery of what we need.
This country is angry and the frustration of our people grows daily. So when King Goodwill Zwelithini incites people to violent xenophobia, our streets become fertile ground for anarchy to reign.
While jobs are being lost and life is becoming more and more difficult every day, we instead see the ANC government reducing our freedom bit by bit.
State capture is the hallmark of Mr Zuma’s presidency.
He has captured the Police. The Hawks. Crime Intelligence. State Security. The Public Broadcaster. The electoral commission.
These are institutions meant to protect our freedom. Instead President Zuma wants them to protect his freedom.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. The freedom of all in South Africa is what motivates the DA every day to keep on working for a better tomorrow.
Our constitution is the guardian of our freedom. It is there to protect and enshrine our rights, and protect us from the evils of power abuse. It is the foundation of our future and must be defended.
Tags: freedom day