Freedom Day is South Africa’s Public Holiday celebrated each year on 27 April. The holiday is created to celebrate freedom and commemorate the first post-apartheid elections which were held on 27 April 1994. On that very same day, that’s when the first non-racial national elections took place, where everyone within age voted (18 years and above).
Under the apartheid regime, black people were not allowed to vote and non-whites had limited voting rights. Freedom Day forms part of the twelve public holidays as determined by the Public Holidays Act (No. 36 of 1994) in South Africa.
The first commemoration of the holiday was the most memorable when the late former President Nelson Mandela addressed parliament and he said:
‘As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.’
This Morning, Google wished South Africa a happy Freedom day through a Doodle.
“Today’s Doodle commemorates this day in 1994 when the nation held its first post-apartheid non-racial democratic elections.” Google writes.
Google cited South Africa’s former President Nelson Monday when he said: “Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future,”
“A turning point in the country’s history, Freedom Day marks the genesis of a new era for the South African people and the end of over 300 years of segregation. The 1994 election saw the vast majority of eligible voters participate in the country’s national election, as 19.7 million of the 22.7 million voters cast their ballots, which resulted in the election of Mandela as their president,” added Google.
Google reckons South Africa is a ‘home to vast swathes of nature preserves’ as today’s featured Doodle is the ‘emblematic springbok’ used in the South Africa national rugby union team, also as the largest town in the Namaqualand area in the Northern Cape province, and is South Africa’s national animal is the springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis).
Freedom Day Theme 2020
South African Government has also released a statement in a reminder that we celebrate this day to ‘commemoration of the first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994’.
The 2020 Freedom Month is commemorated under the theme ‘Valuing Our Freedom in Difficult Times’ as the government confirms.
‘For the majority of South Africans who had never voted before their dignity was restored and the country transformed into a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic society.’
‘South Africa is the country it is today because of their countless sacrifices and that of many other South Africans who fought tirelessly to overcome the brutal apartheid system’ added the government.
iBusiness on Freedom Day
The first democratic election that took place on 27 April 1994 opened a whole new world of possibilities and introduced constitutional democracy. The day – everyone regardless of race voted.
From the iBusiness Team: HAPPY FREEDOM DAY SOUTH AFRICA!