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The Significance of South Africa’s Freedom Day Celebration

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South Africans residing and working in Liberia led by His Excellency Ambassador Masilo E. Mabeta, on Friday, April 27, 2012, celebrated Freedom Day in Liberia. In observance of the day, an elaborate program under the auspices of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa was hosted at the Monrovia City hall graced by a number of Liberian Government officials mostly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Freedom Day  for South Africans the world-over is an annual celebration in consonance with the liberation of  the people of South Africa at all levels from the lengthy colonial period and white minority rule and domination.

With the emergence of Freedom Day in South Africa, no longer did the white minority population enjoyed and exercised absolute socio-economic and political power to the exclusion of the majority of the people. As is being thought outside of South Africa, including Liberia, Freedom Day is not a day for the African National Congress. All of South Africa and South Africans are covered by Freedom Day-black, white, colored, the oppressed, the oppressor-all were liberated.

“Never again would a minority government impose itself on the majority,” was the general pledge of the people of South Africa, who now considered themselves “One people with one destiny”, making it very imperative for them, irrespective of their diverse socio-economic and political backgrounds, to their minds, attitudes and hands towards one common national objective.

Freedom Day  is also celebrated to memorialize the untiring efforts of the  men and women engaged in the liberation struggle with their  echoing  voices and arms as well as unjustifiable imprisonment, banning and torture, on behalf of the very huge oppressed population.

But one big question that is currently rooming the minds of South Africans and their admirers is whether or not there is actual freedom amidst abject poverty, the high unemployment rate, unending and unbearable violence and crime.

In a general, but sincere belief, South Africa’s

Freedom  Day could be even more significant to the highest admiration of millions and millions of people, including Africans and myself, had there been poverty and crime reduction, as well as a tremendous cut in unemployment and complete abolition of racism and other forms of discrimination.

In other words, freedom means redemption from all vices, including the foregoing, which impede human growth and progress. But in South Africa today, the majority-women, children, the elderly, disabled and in fact black people in general, still live abject poverty without any tangible sign of ending.

Many South Africans consider Freedom Day as “something very valuable, the necessary condition for them to achieve the vital and fundamental objective of a better life for all”.

“On Freedom Day, we commit ourselves to ensuring the defense of the sacred freedoms that we had won as a result of a long, difficult and costly struggle. We remind ourselves that the guarantee of these freedoms requires permanent vigilance. It is our pledge to devote ourselves to continue to work to wipe out the legacy of racism in our country. We need to ensure that all our people enjoy these freedoms not merely as theoretical rights, but they must form the daily life experience of all South Africans,” so say the people of South Africa, as I read in an article.

As I congratulate the Ambassador of South Africa to Liberia, His Excellency Masilo E. Mabeta, the Government and People of South Africa in observance of Freedom Day on April 27, 2012, I do still harbor the belief that President Jacob Zuma and his administration will continue to exhibit the political will to fight on in an effort to further liberate South Africa from abject poverty, unemployment and other forms of discrimination which still exist in that country.

After the rains and storms, the sun must definitely shine. After achieving its political freedom, South Africa must continue the fight to emancipate its people from the socio-economic enslavement strangulating their growth and progress.

This is where the annual April 27 Freedom Day celebrations will find its real significance.

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