JG - South Africa celebrates Freedom Day
South Africa celebrates Freedom Day
published: Sunday May 4, 2008
Peta-Gaye Clachar, Staff PhotographerThe dignitaries are in the house. From left, South African High Commissioner to Jamaica Faith Radebe, Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne, Senator Dwight Nelson, Transport Minister Mike Henry and Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie.
Sacha Walters, Staff Reporter
In celebration of South Africa's Freedom Day, that country's high commission in Jamaica hosted a reception at The Jamaica Pegasus on Thursday, April 24.
Held three days before the official Freedom Day, which is April 27, South African High Commissioner Faith Radebe and Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Ken Baugh spoke of the close relationship between both countries.
Freedom Day, the celebration of the first democratic post-apartheid elections held on the same day in 1994, is a public holiday in South Africa.
"As we celebrate our freedom, we recall the heroism, the sacrifices and the solidarity that ensured that South Africa should have the possibility to build a just and prosperous country," High Commissioner Radebe says.
To commemorate the event, the high commission in collaboration with the Jamaican South African Friendship Association and the Jamaica Library Association have mounted an exhibition, which will be taken to the parish libraries for two weeks each. The exhibition is open to the public, but students are encouraged to view it when it's in their areas.
In addition to those celebrations Radebe says her country is already in the throes of celebrating Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, a man who played a fundamental part in black South Africans attaining freedom.
"While his actual birthday is on July 18, celebrations have already started. This is a year-long occasion with events ranging from exhibitions, dialogues, book launches, 46664 concerts and the sixth annual Nelson Mandela Lecture."
The reception saw performances from Akwaaba and the Carifolk singers.
Guests included Ambassador Jesus Silva, Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie, Dr Hopeton Dunn, Transport Minister Mike Henry, Ambassador Chen Jinghua, Ambassador Leonora Rueda, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni, and Ambassador Filomena Navarro.