Free State celebrates Africa Day with a message

Magashule, who was speaking at the official provincial celebrations of Africa Day in Bloemfontein on Wednesday May 27, said it is time South Africans realised that they are dependent on countries such as Mozambique to supply gas and Lesotho to provide water.

“If you think you are so important as South Africans what will happen if the rest of the continent closes up their supplies of water and gas we get from Lesotho and Mozambique? We do not have anywhere to go because we live in this continent called Africa,” said the Premier before a packed gallery.

In attendance were members of the royal families around the province, members of the provincial cabinet, mayors and councillors as well as representatives of foreign nationals living in the province.

The Premier said the advocates of the Freedom Charter document – which was drafted in 1955 in Kliptown, Gauteng, during a people’s assembly attended by South Africans from all walks of life and races, rightly saw it fitting to declare that South Africa belongs to all who live in it and that there shall be friendship and security.

In his welcome address to the gathering, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Executive Mayor Thabo Manyoni said it is naïve for Africans to think people from other continents would come and solve their challenges.

Manyoni, said the Freedom Charter says conflicts should be solved through dialogue and not violence. He called on African leaders to have the necessary maturity to work against what he termed the “political decay” which he blamed for undermining the continent.

“This day should stimulate a desire for unity among us, considering that we were denied the right to self-determination for so long; from Cape to Cairo we are Africans,” Manyoni said, adding that the legacy of fighting to rid the continent of outside domination, left behind by anti-colonisation icons such as Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkurumah, Sam Nojuma and Samora Machel makes every African proud to be associated with the continent.

He referred to the findings of illigal flight of capital from the continent led by former president Thabo Mbeki and commissioned by the African Union which found that an amount of between R1.2 trillion and R1.4 trillion was taken out of the continent between 1980 and 2009.

“Africa remains exploited today and there is little punishment of perpetrators of this crime,” said Manyoni.

Among royalty that attended the event were Basotho kings including King Mota, Masopha Mopedi, Lekunutu Mopedi and Majoro Motloka.

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