President Cyril Ramaphosa has reminded South Africans that participating in Local Government Elections will give them an opportunity to get rid of corrupt leaders. He was delivering the keynote address in Botshabelo in the Free State to celebrate Freedom Day. 

Not yet uhuru for the residents of Botshabelo:

Tuesday marks 27 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa on 27 April 1994.  

2021 National Freedom Day official celebration:

Ramaphosa also says the country’s leaders must use the day to reflect on the missteps that have been taken place over the last 27 years. He says the leaders must understand that the dream of 1994 is yet to be fulfilled. 

“It cannot be after 27 years of our democracy, our people are still being deprived of even the most basic services such as water and sanitation because of poor planning and incompetence of some of us. Due to mismanagement or corruption of some of us, it cannot be that access to housing, education and decent health care are being undermined because those tasked with service delivery do not care enough.” 

Frustration among South Africans 

The President says the fact that the dream of 1994 has not yet been fulfilled and has led to frustrations among South Africans. 

“When we resort to violent demonstrations when we resort to burning, looting and the destruction of property; we are undermining the very cause that we seek to advance. We are also undermining the democracy that our Constitution offers to us. Exercising our right to vote is by far the most powerful form of protest if those who claim to serve you are not doing so vote them out.” 

Ramaphosa has promised to visit the troubled Winburg in the Free State after the 2021 Freedom Day commemoration was moved from Winburg to Botshabelo. He says the change of plans was for logistical reasons.  

Ramaphosa has committed to visit the area this year to listen to the concerns of the community members. 

The year of Charlotte Maxeke 

As the country commemorates Freedom Day, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has paid tribute to the late struggle icon, Charlotte Maxeke and the first ANC President John Langalibalele Dube.  

The Year of Charlotte Maxeke:

Zikalala was speaking in Ohlange north of Durban. He laid a wreath on the grave of Dube along with the Dube family.  

He says the two leaders have paved the way for today’s generation to enjoy freedom.  

“We came here because this year marks 150 years since the birth of Mme Charlote Maxeke, but it is 150 years since the birth of Baba John Langalibalele Dube. To us, he is one of those who are the symbol of freedom, he is one of those who are the path finders of our liberation struggle. We are here today knowing quite well that South Africa has attained and achieved a lot under the democratic dispensation. Contrary to many things that are said, we are living in a South Africa that enjoys equality and that would not have happened before 1994.” 

Fighting for land 

EFF leader Julius Malema has encouraged all South Africans to fight for the land in order to work it and produce food for the nation.  

He says if freedom is anything to be celebrated, it must mean that all citizens have access to the land. Malema is at Attridgeville in Pretoria, commemorating Freedom Day along with thousands of EFF supporters at the Capital city.  

He says it’s uncalled for that 90% of the land is still in the hands of the minority groups in South Africa. 

EFF Freedom Day rally address by its CIC Julius Malema:

– Additional reporting by Abongile Dumako.