President Zuma to lead commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday, 10 December 2016 lead the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, an important milestone of one of the most internationally acclaimed, progressive and transformative constitutions in the world.

This year marks 20 years since the signing into law of the Constitution by the late former President Nelson Mandela in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996. The signing of the Constitution was a commemorative gesture in remembrance of the people who died during a peaceful demonstration against the vicious pass laws on 21 March 1960.

The commemorations will be held under the theme “Celebrating 20 years of the Constitution – transforming society and uniting the nation”.

“South Africa is renowned for its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, locally and globally. We should be proud of this important milestone and reflect on the gains attained by our constitutional democracy for the past 20 years. Our Constitution helps us heal the divisions of the past, and pave the way forward for a democratic open society,” said President Zuma.

10 December is also International Human Rights Day.

The President added that the Constitution, which has its foundation in the Freedom Charter, proclaims that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. “Our democracy is functional, solid and stable,” said the President.

The country has in the recent months witnessed racism in different parts of the country and the Constitution is one of the laid foundations for a long- term programme of building a non-racial society. He called for promotion of inclusion and a non-racial society for a better place for all who live in it.

President Zuma has encouraged the people of South Africa to respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the country in order to unite the people, end apartheid laws, and facilitate change in political, economic and social relations in the country.

The President will address the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa at the George Thabe Sports Ground in Sharpeville, Gauteng Province.

The event will commence with the signing of a pledge by the President and other dignitaries at the Constitution Square at the Vereeniging Civic Centre, followed by the laying of wreaths at the Sharpeville Memorial Site. The President will then address members of the community.

President Zuma, who will officiate in his capacity as Head of State, is scheduled to be accompanied by the Head of the Judiciary, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the heads of the legislature, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbethe and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Modise.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa.

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