Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma thanked the Afrikaner community for believing in a democratic and equal South Africa, at an ANC manifesto dinner in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“We are one nation, regardless of colour or creed. We are one unique nation in Africa, made up of diverse people who are united by their love for their country and the desire for it to succeed,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Voortrekker Monument.
“We thank many people from the Afrikaner community who over many years cherished and believed in a democratic and equal society and inspired others to follow.”
He said people like Bram Fischer, Beyers Naude and many others had believed in the equality that the African National Congress had advocated.
“We still admire the foresight of leaders such as Frederick van Zyl Slabbert to reach out to the ANC in exile for talks, which destroyed divisive stereotypes.”
Zuma said Van Zyl would be honoured with a National Order on the weekend for his contribution to the change that had made this country a better place to live in.
“We should always remember the powerful clause in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution, which states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.”
He urged South Africans to recommit themselves to healing the divisions of the past.
“Freedom Day reminds us to celebrate what we have achieved as a nation -20 years of a successful transition from apartheid to an inclusive democracy and reflect on the achievements we have made as a nation.
“It provides an opportunity for all South Africans to re-affirm who we are as a nation and what we stand for.
“I am underlining these points because all of us must celebrate Freedom Day. When we look back at the divisions and hatred that we left behind, we realise that what unites us is far stronger than what seeks to divide us.”