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South African Embassy, Berlin
Tiergartenstr. 18, 10785 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-22073-0
Fax: +49-30-22073-190

Embassy, Topnews, South Africa in Germany

27. April 2021

Ambassador Sizani's Video Message on the Occasion of Freedom Day, 27 April 2021: “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: The Meaning of Freedom under COVID-19”

On 27 April, the Mission annually celebrates Freedom Day by hosting an event at the Chancery for all its stakeholders, dignitaries and fellow diplomats in Germany. As the usual annual event at the Mission will not take place due to the Corona pandemic, Ambassador Sizani is conveying his message by video which can be viewed on Facebook.

Watch the Video Message on Facebook: fb.watch/57LiUUqzU7/

Dear friends of South Africa,
My fellow South Africans,

It is April and hence the time of the year in which we as a Nation come together and traditionally celebrate our National Day on 27 April, marking the 27th Freedom Day of the Republic of South Africa.  

Of course, due to the current lockdown restrictions still in place in our host country Germany, we will this year, as in 2020, regrettably not be able to host our annual Freedom Day Celebration event at the Embassy.

This year’s Freedom Day and Freedom Month are celebrated under the theme “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke: The Meaning of Freedom under COVID-19”. 

2021 marks the 150th anniversary of struggle icon and human rights campaigner Charlotte Maxeke. She and other selfless women were at the forefront of fighting for the many freedoms that we enjoy today. She helped organize the anti-pass movement in Bloemfontein in 1913 and spearheaded the fight for social justice.

We celebrate our Freedom Day under very special and difficult circumstances as we collectively stand together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. We also observe this year’s Freedom Day in the knowledge that lifesaving vaccines are on the way. We call on everyone to use the Freedom Month and Freedom Day celebrations to pull together over the coming weeks and months.  Let us continue to fight the virus while striving for greater inclusion and social cohesion.

We also dare not forget the terrible past from which we have come, nor should we forget the many sacrifices made by patriots to ensure our democracy and freedom. Our history abounds with selfless patriots who paved the way for a democratic and free South Africa.

This year’s Freedom Day Celebrations also coincides with South Africa commemorating the 25th anniversary of our Constitution and the creation of constitutional democracy in South Africa.  

The South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will lead the national celebrations for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Constitution in 2021.  The celebrations will extend beyond the year 2021 into 2022, as our Constitution’s legal entry into force will be marked on 4 February 2022.  

In collaboration with government as a whole, civil society, various sectors, stakeholders and communities at large, South Africa will take this opportunity to mark various milestones in the adoption of the Constitution and utilize the commemorative programme to reignite the common vision for unity in diversity and strengthen the culture of respect for human rights and the rule of law in South Africa.

South Africa will also commemorate this milestone with the international community in recognition of the pivotal role played by many countries around the world in the fight against apartheid and the birth of our constitutional democracy in 1994. Also, our Constitution provides the basis for our international relations and our wide, global diplomatic ties.

South Africa regards its relationship with the Federal republic of Germany as being among its most treasured.  Germany is a strategic partner to South Africa and there currently exists an excellent relationship between the two countries, characterized by a continued, upward trajectory as highlighted by the visit of President Ramaphosa to Germany in October 2018, the State visit by Federal President Steinmeier to South Africa in November 2018 and the official visit by Chancellor Merkel to South Africa in February 2020. This is further reflected in the high-level interactions between the two countries in 2020, in the midst of the corona virus outbreak through various, virtual, high-level engagements.

In closing, let us remember the words of President Nelson Mandela on the very important subject of humanity, 1990 (The Struggle is My Life) - “Since my release, I have become more convinced than ever that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women of our country; their participation in every decision about the future is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom”.

South Africans are stronger together and have more in common than that which divides us.  Let us use our freedom and our unity to build a nation that is stronger together.  We must continue to build on the significant progress made in the past 27 years of freedom and democracy. Each citizen has a responsibility to take charge and play an active role in building the South Africa we want.

I thank you.

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