Freedom Day in quotes

2010-04-27 15:42

South Africa celebrated 16 years of democracy today with President

Jacob Zuma offering a stark reminder that the effects of unjust apartheid laws

lingered.

“Our people still have to daily confront the impact of the law,”

Zuma said in Pretoria, referring to the now-repealed Group Areas Act.

Addressing thousands of people gathered at the Union Buildings for

Freedom Day celebrations, he said the Act – which marked the institutionalising

of racial partitioning of cities and towns – was still in existence 20 years

after it was repealed.

“Many still live in areas once designated for black people... away

from economic opportunities and civic services,” he said.

“Freedom imposes on us a responsibility to work together in the

process of changing such conditions.”

  • Speaking at Constitution Hill DA

    leader Helen Zille said South African voters had the power to stand up against

    corrupt government officials who abuse their positions of power. “... We must remember 27 April 1994, and remember that we are not

    powerless. We have the vote,” she said. “If we don’t use our vote to change the people in power, there will

    be more and more abuse, and more and more corruption, and we will become a

    criminal state,” she said.

  • IFP president Mangosutho Buthelezi,

    addressing celebrations in Vryheid, KwaZulu Natal, said after 16 years, the

    message had to go out “that there was something better than empty

    promises. There is something better than a leadership plagued by corruption

    and scandal. There is something better than poor service delivery and constant

    excuses.”

  • The Freedom Front Plus said democracy

    was tainted by the high murder rate in the country. FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder

    said South Africa was racially more divided than at any other time since

    1994. He said racism was “easy politics” and “difficult politics” was to

    make a place in the sun for everybody in the country and find win-win solutions.

  • Congress of the People parliamentary

    leader Mvume Dandala said after 16 years there was much to celebrate in South

    Africa adding, however, that “economic bondage” remained a challenge.

  • The SA Communist Party said the first

    democratic election in 1994 did not mark an end to the national democratic and

    class struggle, but brought a struggle on a different terrain. “We need to place our society onto a different developmental path,

    one in which meeting social needs is the priority and not profit-driven growth,”

    the party said in a statement.

  • The country’s largest labour

    federation, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, said a lot more needed to be done

    before South Africans could say they were truly free. “We cannot ignore the 58 percent of South Africans who live in

    poverty, who cannot really benefit from political freedom as they face a daily

    struggle to survive,” spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement.

 

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