Mchunu lights Freedom Flame that ‘highlights light over darkness’

2014-03-11 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Senzo Mchunu yesterday lit a Freedom Flame that will be criss-crossing the province in celebration of 20 years of freedom and democracy.

Mchunu was launching the programme of the province’s 20 Years of Freedom celebrations at the Mandela Capture Site near Howick.

He said the celebrations would pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and all fallen heroes and heroines who were actively engaged in the struggle against oppression and colonialism.

The premier, with the members of the executive, began by walking to where Mandela was captured to place wreaths at the capture site. Doves of peace were released while a choir sang.

He said the “20 years of Freedom Flame” would be the major symbol of the celebrations and would cross the 11 districts, including eThekwini Metro, “highlighting the light over darkness that has prevailed in this province in the past 20 years”.

He said the unpleasant fact was that at any mention of apartheid, the people of KwaZulu-Natal remember a period of great cruelty, the torture and killing of political activists, the break-up of families and the suffering of orphans and widows. “In sharp contrast, at any mention of Tata Nelson Mandela, the faces of the people of the province light up; he represents the end of suffering and the hope for a better future.”

He said Mandela became a symbol of the fight against apartheid and the embodiment of the resilience of people in their quest for justice.

He said this should be taken as an educational time for the youth about the past of this country, as Mandela cast his vote in this province and he was captured in this province.

Mchunu said, “Tata Mandela’s dedication towards the creation of a non-racial and non-sexist society where there is equal development, resonated across the length and breadth of this province and inspired many generations of all races to participate in the fight against racial oppression and discrimination.

“We need to emphasise that these celebrations belong to all South Africans, irrespective of their political affiliation, race, colour, creed, sexual orientation, religion or cultural origin”.

The flame will be in Umgungundlovu District Municipality until tomorrow and then move to Umzinyathi District.

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