South Africa Celebrates 20 years of end of apartheid

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South Africa Celebrates 20 years of end of apartheid

South Africa Celebrates 20 years of end of apartheid

(Johannesburg) – South Africans celebrated 20 years of democracy with song, prayer and praise for those who guided their country into a more peaceful, tolerant era, although some noted that economic inequality and other problems have undermined the nation’s promise since the first all-race elections ended white rule on April 27, 1994.
The focus of the Freedom Day commemorations was in Pretoria at the Union Buildings, the century-old government offices where President Jacob Zuma and dignitaries, including foreign diplomats, gathered to reflect on the long struggle against apartheid and ensuing efforts to build a better country.
The anniversary precedes elections on May 7 that are likely to see the ruling African National Congress return to power with a smaller majority, reflecting discontent with the movement that opposed white domination before its candidate, Nelson Mandela, became South Africa’s first black president.
In a speech, Zuma said South Africa had a good story to tell, referring to its stable electoral system, its constitutional commitment to human rights as well as advancements in health care, welfare grants and water and electricity in the past 20 years. Close to three million houses have been built since 1994, women play a far more prominent role in public life, and crime has declined, even it remains an issue of “serious concern”.

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