Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha says African countries contributed to South Africa’s fight for freedom and has denounced the recent attacks on foreign nationals in the country.
He was speaking at the provincial Freedom Day celebration held at Ntwampe sports ground in Tubatse Municipality in Sekhukhune on Monday.
“The truth is that the rest of Africa had rallied itself for our freedom and liberation. Most of these countries had to endure bombings and military attacks in the hands of Apartheid South African Defense Force.
“We owe a lot to our fellow African sisters and brothers than we can ever pay back. It is therefore shameful that some amongst us are seen today with sjamboks, pangas, knobkerries, tomahawks and all sorts of traditional weapons, vying for the blood of fellow brothers from the African continent.
“This is not what freedom is about. Our fellow Africans did not contribute to our freedom so that we can in return loot their stores, destroy their properties and slaughter them like animals,” he said.
Today, South Africans are celebrating Freedom Day, where the main event is taking place at the Union Buildings under the theme: “Celebrating the Third Decade of our Freedom through Accelerating Radical Economic Transformation”.
Mathabatha said the 1994 breakthrough over apartheid was a product of many years of selfless struggles and the unity of the people of the world against the evils of apartheid.
He said South Africans should understand that many nations from across the world have sacrificed a lot for them to be able to celebrate and enjoy the freedom.
“African countries in particular have contributed and sacrificed a lot for our freedom.
“We know that in 1962, our icon, tata Nelson Mandela travelled to Ethiopia for military and political training. The Ethiopian army trained and armed Nelson Mandela in his struggle against apartheid South Africa.
“On this day we should remind ourselves of the gracious role of the people of Tanzania and the people of Zambia who hosted the liberation movement during our darkest hour of need.
“When the ANC, the SACP and the PAC were banned in this country, we were embraced by the people of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and many other African countries in the true spirit of common brotherhood,” he said.
Limpopo is home of thousands of Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Zambians and a host of other foreign nationals. There are teachers in the schools that are from those countries.
Mathabatha said the economies of Musina town and the City of Polokwane owe their growth and development to the contribution of foreign nationals.
“The freedom we are celebrating today has come with the culture of human rights, human dignity and a better life for all.
“In celebrating this freedom, we must also seize a moment to remember and pay homage a galaxy of distinguished men and women who have sacrificed their lives for us to be free.
“Today, we celebrate because we know well the pain of oppression and dominance of one racial group over the other. We truly come from a hopeless and painful past. Apartheid had divided our country into two unequal parts,” he said.
This year’s Freedom Day celebrations marks 21 years of Freedom and Democracy in South Africa and also marks the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Charter, the historic road-map to the struggle for freedom and ultimately the achievement of democracy.-SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za