Remarks by Ambassador Pule I Malefane at the occasion of the South African Freedom Day in Ankara, 27 April 2016
Let me start by acknowledging the presence of Mr. Berat Albayrak, the Minister of Energy and the Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey.
Dear Ambassadors, diplomats, fellow South Africans, Ladies and Gentlemen, Hosgeldiniz!
Thanks to you all for gracing us with your presence as we commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of South Africa’s Freedom Day. This is a day that ushered in a democratic dispensation that saw the end of decades of racial segregation and oppression in our country, and also putting in place a democratic government led by Nelson Mandela. This year’s commemoration also coincides with Turkey’s 96th Anniversary of its first Parliament convened by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on 23rd April 1920 which is now known as the National Sovereignty Day and Children’s Day. We also mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of our draft Constitution into law, the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s’ March to the Union Buildings and the 40th anniversary of the June 16 Student Uprising.
The occasion of the Freedom Day adequately provides an opportunity for me, on behalf of all South Africans to thank all those people in the world who supported and assisted our country in its fight against all forms of racial segregation and oppression.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
South Africa and Turkey enjoy cordial bilateral relations anchored upon the principles of mutual benefit and common sustainable development. South Africa and Turkey are in agreement on many international issues, one of which includes the peaceful settlement of disputes and the eradication of the global phenomenon of terrorism. We shall continue to strengthen our relations at the highest levels with other like-minded countries as well to achieve the undeniable goal of creating a better world by promoting democratic values and good governance.
We shall forever be inspired by the wise words of Mustafa Kemal when he said’ “Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say ‘What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?’ If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness”. Let us therefore celebrate the gains brought by the struggles of our forbearers and ensure that their sweat and blood nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of Peace, Democracy and Justice to make the world a better place.