President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to use today, Thursday 10 May 2018, to reflect on the values and legacy of President Nelson Mandela who was inaugurated on this day in 1994 as the Founding President of a democratic South Africa.
The anniversary of President Mandela’s Inauguration forms part of the countdown to the centenary - on July18 - of the global icon who passed away in December 2013.
Government has dedicated 2018 to celebrating the life and contributions of President Mandela and Ma Albertina Sisulu who were both born 100 years ago this year.
“On this day in 1994 South Africa embarked on the journey of democratic governance, led by President Nelson Mandela, to whom we owe many of the gains we have made as a society in the past 24 years,” said President Ramaphosa.
“Today we recall the humility and inspiration with which President Mandela set out his vision for a free South Africa in his Inauguration address at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
“We recall our Founding President directing that ’out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.”
“Madiba also told us that ‘our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all’.”
President Ramaphosa said: “Our celebration of this historic anniversary should inspire all of us to reinvigorate Madiba’s values in our thoughts and actions and especially our contributions to society.
“In the year of Madiba’s centenary we should rededicate ourselves to realising his vision for a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.”
President Ramaphosa reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to democratic values and practices in an introductory meeting in Pretoria today with the Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission.
The meeting focused on the progressive realisation of human rights in South Africa as well as the capacitation of the Commission to ensure that the fundamental rights championed by our Constitution are upheld for all South Africans.
Office of The Presidency, South Africa