REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR MALEFANE MEDIA BREAKFAST
26 APRIL 2016
Dear Esteemed senior members of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen, Iyi gunler
We have invited you here on South African soil which is the South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey to engage with you on how best we can enhance the relationship between yourselves and our diplomatic Mission. I, on behalf of the Mission pledges to be available to you at all times to provide clarity on all issues related to South Africa relationship with Turkey and the region. I hold a view that seeks to inform that a healthy relationship between the Embassy and the press will go a long way in making sure that the South African message is correctly carried through and understood.
In the celebratory mood we are in this month please note that we will be having a series of events relevant to the progress we have made as a nation. April 27 is an annual commemoration of South Africa's freedom and democracy celebrating the first ever all inclusive democratic elections of 1994. This event marked the end of institutionalised racism and segregation better known as Apartheid and emphasises our victory over an unjust and unsustainable way of governance. It marked the end to white minority misrule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela, who later declared that never again shall it be that South Africa experiences the oppression of one by another.
This month provides an opportunity for South Africans to reflect on the progress made in achieving the vision of a better life for all through comprehensive inclusion of all sectors of our society. 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 and Children’s Day, we also mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the final draft Constitution of South Africa 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 Constitution laid a foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people.
Ambassador might wish to elaborate on the events above in his own words.
This year we celebrate Freedom Day under the theme; ’Together Building Better Communities – Local Government is Everybody’s Business’. This lays the base for our fifth municipal elections this year aimed at choosing the most appropriate individuals who will be responsible for governing municipalities for the next five years. This will be done as prescribed by the most supreme authority in country, the Constitution.
The occasion of the Freedom Day also provides an opportunity to thank all those people and countries in the world that supported and assisted South Africa in its fight for freedom from the discriminatory apartheid regime. Turkey therefore, ranks highly in the long list of countries which assisted South Africa and indeed South Africans in overcoming the evil of Apartheid. We therefore see Turkey working side by side with South Africa in giving meaning to this year’s theme in working together with all progressive forces of the world in building better and sustainable communities that will stand up against any terror, injustice and any form of oppression for their own growth and development.
We will continue to strengthened relations at the highest levels with Turkey and like-minded countries in making sure that we as a country 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 Ataturk 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 me conclude by once again expressing my sincere gratitude to all of you, for finding it appropriate to attend this event. Let me further assure you that I will respond to your enquiries on all matters related to my work during my four year stay in Ankara.