South Africa Celebrates Reconciliation Day

Published 17.12.2010 09:25
Updated 19.01.2011 12:05

South Africa on Thursday celebrated the Reconciliation Day, a public holiday held annually to celebrate the ending of the apartheid in 1994.

Although bad weather led to cancellation of the parade and other celebrations in the country President Zuma still delivered his speech to all fellow South Africans.

The ceremony opened with a prayer for all late fellow South Africans who had given their live for the betterment of the country.

President Zuma in his address said, "The 16th of December was designated as a National Day of Reconciliation so that our future generations, Black and White, could learn from the experiences of their forefathers.We did this so that our children and their children could live in peace, side by side, and enjoy their cultural diversity in peace and dignity."

He also went on to state, "The 16th of December reminds us that we were once a nation divided, whose people were at war against one another for many decades. On this day we celebrate that we were able to work together as opposing sides to resolve our challenges and agreed to build peace and usher in a human rights-based democracy founded on the values of unity in diversity."

December 16 was formerly celebrated as the Day of Vow also called Dingaan Day or the Day of the Covenant before the end of the apartheid in 1994, this day was a religious holiday to celebrate the Boers defeat of the Zulus in 1838 at the Battle of Blood River. 16th December is also the commemoration date for the founding of the 'Umkhonto We Sizwe' (Spear of The Nation) the then armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) the present ruling party in the state of South Africa.

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