Fellow South Africans,
Today we celebrate 26 years of South Africa’s democracy, as we mark Freedom Day.
A day on which millions of hopeful South Africans, united in our diversity casted our vote for the first time for a new South Africa.
27 April 1994 would bear semblance to our hopes and aspirations for an equal, just, democratic and non-racial society in which all could leave freely.
We celebrate Freedom Day this year in the background of an unprecedented global health crisis for which we do not yet have a solution or cure.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has in some way affected every community and individual within our interconnected global village. As South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States, I am part of those experiencing firsthand the seriousness of this disease.
One of the ways in which I have particularly experienced the effects of this pandemic has been through the Embassy’s daily interaction with our fellow countrymen who have been stranded in the United States; in the aftermath of the global closing of borders as country’s (including South Africa) attempt to curtail the spread of the disease and protect lives.
This is a difficult time for all, and the pressures are particularly exacerbated for all those South Africans who are not in the comfort of home and with loved ones.
We are not unsympathetic to the times and share your frustrations at the time that it is taking to get you back home. We remain committed to doing so however and are still engaging daily with airlines and Government to achieve this objective.
Whilst we are still in the throes of this crisis and experiencing the daily discomforts and anxieties thereof; we should not stop clinging onto the hope to overcome in the same way that our fallen heroes clung to the hope of a free and democratic South Africa.
The human spirit is resilient to the challenges we are confronted with and whilst this may seem like an impossible situation, our capacity to conquer is more powerful as every icon of freedom in our history has shown us.
South Africa will overcome. We will use the genius that is our people and richness of our country’s resources to not only restore what has been lost during this time but to build an even more resilient economy that addresses the needs of all who live in it.
Fellow South Africans;
For the first time in our history, freedom day will be celebrated differently both at home and abroad, for our part, consistent with the World Health Organization Protocols, we will not host our picnic nor host freedom our day reception.
Happy Freedom Day South Africans, stay safe, stay at home, and save lives.
South American Embassy
3051 Massachusetts Ave NW