Our freedom was not free - Zuma

2016-06-16 14:02
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday told thousands of young people at Orlando Stadium in Soweto that the freedom enjoyed today came at a cost.

"Our freedom was nthabiseng [happiness] free. Many paid a heavy price for it. Many lives were destroyed, many lives were lost," Zuma said during his address.

He said it took a joint effort between parents and the youth to bring down the apartheid government.

"We thank the parents who supported the struggle... we acknowledge the contribution of doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners who treated the injured.

"We also acknowledge 400 white students from Wits who marched in solidarity with Soweto students," said Zuma.

He added that much had changed in the country since the 1976 uprising. He said their sacrifices were not in vain as the country managed to defeat Hendrik Verwoerd and his racist ideologies.

"Race no longer determines where one lives or where one goes to school or church. Black people no longer have to carry passes to live and work in urban areas. Today we live in a vibrant democracy and we have worked hard to build a strong democratic state."

Zuma said as the country celebrates some of the achievements and milestones reached, they were cognisant of the fact that certain pockets of society do not have services.

"We are aware that some people are still waiting for services, given the backlog we have. We are coming to them. This democratic government will not rest until all their needs are met. We will work day and night to ensure that happens."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  soweto  |  johannesburg  |  soweto40  |  youth  |  youth day

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