Freedom Day Message: 27 April 2024

By Published On: 26th April 2024

As we celebrate Freedom Day on April 27th, it is important to take time to contemplate the difficult path that was paved for us to enjoy the freedom that we now have.

The struggle for freedom against the oppressive regime of apartheid, which enabled us to cast our votes, on this day in 1994, is evidence of the steadfast commitment to justice and equality that the people of South Africa continue to hold.

Freedom Day marked the dawn of a new era, instilling hope for a brighter future for all.  South Africa commemorates 30 years of democracy this year. Nelson Mandela’s words continue to resonate, reminding us of the numerous challenges that lie ahead:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

We must continue to guard our hard-won freedom, especially in these times of distrust and disillusionment.

It is for this that reason the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation continues to support processes that promote peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion across our continent. Our dedication to building bridges and fostering dialogue is essential in ensuring that the legacy of our past does not overshadow our shared aspirations for a brighter future, one in which we see fair, democratic, inclusive and peaceful societies thriving in Africa.

On this Freedom Day, let us remember that true freedom goes beyond mere liberation from chains; it entails creating an environment in which all individuals can  live with dignity and uphold each other’s liberties with respect.

Happy Freedom Day!

Prof Cheryl Hendricks

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