10 Years of Freedom: South Africa and Italy Co-Celebrate the Victory over Nazi-Fascism and the Victory over Apartheid

On Sunday, April 25, South Africa and Italy co-celebrated the 59th anniversary of the victory against Nazi-Facism and the 10th anniversary of the victory against Apartheid. His Worship Thabo Makunyane, Mayor of Polokwane, was the Guest of Honour of Her Worship Antonella Spaggiari, Mayor of Reggio-Emilia.

In 1977, the then Mayor of Reggio-Emilia, Hugo Benazzi, in an act of solidarity with the people of South Africa, signed a friendship agreement between his city and the ANC, with its then President, Oliver R. Tambo.

The friendship was further consolidated this week with the signature of a Twinning Agreement between the City of Reggio-Emilia and the City of Polokwane, by their respective Mayors Antonella Spaggiari and Thabo Makunyane.
Following a Freedom Day Reception hosted by HE Ambassador Lenin Shope on April 27, the European Tour of the oratorium "uShaka ka Senzangakhona" will be premiered on April 28, at Rome's prestigious new auditorium "Parco Della Musica", which will be co-hosted by the Ambassador and the Mayor of Rome, His Worship Walter Veltroni. His Worship Thabo Makunyane will also attend.

In his statement on the Oratorium, Ambassador Shope said:

"A medley of choir with orchestral support, there is perhaps no better way of bringing to life to the Italian public, the story of so great an African son. (uShaka)

It gives us great satisfaction that this performance immediately succeeds
April 27, a day that marks the 10th Anniversary of our liberation from
apartheid, and that constitutes a time when our people reflect on where we come from, review what we have achieved, and chart the way forward into the next decade.

For the vast majority of South Africans, this is a moment of immense pride and joy, and we invite you to partake in our yearlong celebrations of this momentous victory.

As we celebrate this First Decade of Freedom, we enjoin you to transform the solidarity you offered in our struggle for freedom, into a new partnership for the reconstruction and development of our country, and indeed of our Great Continent."


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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa