President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead South Africa's celebration of 25 years of freedom and democracy at the main 2019 Freedom Day event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

Freedom Day on April 27 marks the date in 1994 of the first democratic election in South Africa.

Saturday's main Freedom Day event will take place at the Miki Yili Stadium in Joza Township at Makhanda. 

In a statement, the presidency said the 2019 National Freedom Day celebration "marks 25 years of freedom from apartheid colonial oppression and the country’s development as a constitutional democracy".

"Freedom Day will be an occasion for the nation to reflect on how South Africa’s freedom and democracy was achieved and on the role all South Africans can play in growing the country together into the future," the statement added.

"This national day is the culmination of Freedom Month which is an opportunity for South Africans to strengthen solidarity, express pride in our national identity and promote social cohesion," the presidency said. "Freedom Month is a period during which the nation remembers and honours heroes who sacrificed their lives for freedom."

The theme for this year's event is "Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy" and the presidency said there was added significance this year as it comes just days before the sixth general election on 8 May.

African News Agency/ANA