Jacob Zuma: SA wasn’t better during apartheid

2014-08-15 16:26

South Africans should not forget where they come from and the strides made since the dawn of democracy, says President Jacob Zuma.

“If there can be anyone in South Africa who says it was better during apartheid, then we have forgotten where we come from,” said Zuma at a national interfaith thanksgiving ceremony at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, Johannesburg, today. The event was held to celebrate 20 years of democracy.

“We need to be reminded where we come from.”

Zuma said many people did not notice the important strides and decisions made in the country, which is why they have the notion that the country is now worse than under apartheid.

South Africa is an extraordinary country, which is able to find solutions to its own problems without involving outside forces, he said, adding that the country had proved naysayers wrong with the peace that prevailed following the end of apartheid.

“We have something to celebrate, our freedom. The fact that we stopped fighting and killing each other to build our country. Many thought it would not last but it did, it [has] lasted 20 years,” he said.

Zuma praised religious leaders and the role they played in the country and the fight against oppression. He said they were not spectators in the struggle but played an active role and still continued to do so.

“In counting all of our achievements, we cannot exclude religious leaders, for they have played a significant role. The church opened its doors to our people. This very church was our refuge,” he said.

Among those present at the ceremony were North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau, and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Congregants travelled from as far as the Northern Cape and the Western Cape to be part of the ceremony.

People from different denominations were dressed in colourful church regalia for the occasion.

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