Happy Freedom Day South Africa!
April 27 is celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa. It was on this day that in 1994 — 21 years ago — that South Africa held their first democratic elections in the country’s history. Freedom Day, which is what this day is known as today, remembers that truly remarkable day when millions of South Africans went peacefully to the polls, most for the first time in their lives. After over 40 years of brutal repression of apartheid legislation, and hundreds of years of enforced segregation before that, Africans, Indians, and Coloured South Africans were finally able to cast their ballot in this historic election. The African National Congress (ANC) won the 1994 election, ushering in the presidency of Nelson Mandela.
This is a day of celebration of freedom and quality, of remembrance of the determination and courage that it took to get to this point, as well as the unfortunate reminder today that not all in South Africa are free. With the disturbing xenophobic attacks that have plagued the country for years, this is a day that South Africans will hopefully look to one another and be thankful for what their country has accomplished in 21 years since the end of one of the most brutal regimes in modern history. Nelson Mandela’s below above is as true as ever today:
Using the #FreedomDay hashtag, people across the country and beyond took to Twitter to celebrate this year’s event, express their views and send out their wishes — including the South African government.