Address by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
of South Africa, the honourable Ms Sue van der Merwe on occasion of Kenya's National
Day, Pretoria Country Club, 12 December 2004
Your Excellency, The High Commissioner
of the Republic of Kenya,
Honourable Members of
the Business Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It gives me great pleasure
today to make these remarks on the occasion of Kenya's National Day. On behalf
of the South African Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the South
Africa people, we would like to give our best wishes to the Kenyan leadership
and people on this important day.
We would like to use this opportunity
to extend our warm greetings and best wishes to President Mwai Kibaki, Vice-President
Moody Awori and our colleague, Foreign Minister Ali Chirau Makwere.
can be allowed to practise the Swahili language, that is widely-spoken on this
continent, may I simply ask: " Habari Gani?"(How are you? in Kiswahili-).
"Mzuri Sana Sasa, Asante Sana" (Very Fine Thank You Ladies and Gentlemen.).
Today is both a day of celebration and joy for all of us because of the
ties that bind us and our common experience. Our history tells us that marked
an important moment not only for Kenya, but for Africa and the world. It is also
a day of glory and remembrance to the many heroes who sacrificed their youthful
and vibrant lives to set all of Africa free and who are forerunners of our present
day efforts to rebuild the African continent and to realise the dreams of an African
On that historic day in 1963, the gates of hope and longing
for freedom and liberation were opened for us to continue inspired by victory
on the path to our freedom. The winds of freedom would begin to blow to Southern
and South Africa and the message of an Africa revolution carried on this wind.
of the Kenyan heroes at the time had also been members of our pioneering political
liberation organisation, the African National Congress, while they were students
and/or workers in South Africa.
Today, Your Excellencies and Ladies and
Gentlemen, we are able to enjoy our ten years of democracy in a non-racial, non-sexist
South Africa thanks to the huge sacrifice that these gallant heroes made for all
of us. Let us salute in memory the great late President Jomo (Mzee) Kenyatta,
one of the fathers of African freedom. We greatly admire and are encouraged by
the sacrifices of the Kenyan people and their efforts as well as those of their
comrades. That is why today in South Africa many new leaders have emerged, inspired
by the actions of Kenyan heroes.
The example of their sacrifice inspired
many of our heroes to also put their lives in jeopardy in pursuit of freedom and
liberty. Were it not for their sacrifice, would our people have been inspired
enough to continue to resist and to rebel? Certainly the torches of freedom had
been lit. The liberation of Africa had been set in motion and South Africans were
encouraged to march on t freedom.
Today we are
happy to sit together side by side as brothers, sisters and equals on the seats
of international, continental and regional organisations supporting each other
and sharing our rich and common experience.
Your country - government and
people - in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, has always supported South
Africa's and our Government position on many an international matter or dispute.
That is why today we exchange information, advice and experiences in the
United Nations (UN), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Commonwealth, the African
Union (AU) and NEPAD and many other international fora.
Together as Africans
bound by a common cause, let us continue current efforts to find a lasting and
peaceful solution to the conflicts in the Great Lakes region, the Ivory Coast,
Darfur in the Sudan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as that in Iraq
is clear testimony to this position. It is our wish that all our African brothers
and sisters enjoy a life of stability, peace, security and sustainable development.
This will in turn allow us to take up our proud position in the world and earn
us the respect and honour that all our people deserve.
In conclusion, we would once again like to express our great appreciation
to the Kenyan people and Government for their loyal and faithful support. We hope
that our relationship will continue to grow in strength and in good spirit.
wish you well on this National Day.
I thank you for your attention.