This year, 2018, South Africa is celebrating 24 years of freedom. More precisely, 27 April 2018 marks twenty-four years of freedom for the people of South Africa. In South Africa, the event is marked through workshops, conferences, talk shows, and sharing what freedom and democracy to South Africans means.
The South African Embassy in Romania will celebrate this day on 18 June 2018, the significance of this date and month being the fact the 18 (July 1918) is the date on which Nelson Mandela was born while June is the month on which the youth is celebrated (16 June).
On 18 June 2018 the Embassy will be also celebrating the Centenary of Nelson Mandela through an overarching theme: “The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: towards full realisation of our freedom through radical socio-economic transformation”. The intention of the theme is to foreground characteristics and values which former President Mandela was renowned for across the world: He valued: Integrity, Passion, Service, Transparency, Respect and Transformation. The late Nelson Mandela played an integral role in the liberation of South Africa. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of equality and justice for all South Africans and was one of the founding fathers of our constitutional democracy.
Mandela’s struggle for liberation saw him spend 27 years in prison from 1964 to 1991. During his years in prison, his reputation grew steadily and he was widely accepted as one of the most significant black leaders in South Africa. Mandela consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom and rejected at least three conditional offers of release. The former President’s steadfast resolve in the face of adversity led him to become a strong symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. On 27 April 1994, the heroic struggle for freedom ended with the first ever democratic elections in South Africa.
On this special occasion, H.E. Jabu Mbalula Ambassador of South Africa to Romania, stated: “In celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela as we do today and throughout the year, the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa takes this opportunity to, on behalf of the South African Nation, Government, and people of South Africa, humbly express sincere words of appreciation to all the countries, their governments and their citizens for extending a hand of assistance to South Africans for them to also join the community of nations in enjoying democracy, rule of law, peace and security. This is a debt that our country will never be able to fully pay back and which it will never stop appreciating. South Africa has a full understanding that some countries’ citizens sacrificed their meagre incomes to contribute to South Africa’s struggle. Working together with our partners in the international community, South Africa learned that it could achieve a South Africa that Nelson Mandela fought tirelessly to found. His vision bore fruit on 27 April 1994.”