Freedom Day Essay

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Freedom Day is an annual celebration of South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. Peace, unity, the preservation and the restoration of human dignity hallmarks Freedom Day celebrations on the 27th of April of each year. The road to democracy was a long and difficult one. Since the arrival of the White man at the Cape in 1652, the indigenous peoples of South Africa came under White control and domination. Soon all peoples of colour were denied the vote and hence a say in the running of the country. South Africa was never truly independent nor democratic. The exclusion of the majority of South Africans from political power was at the centre of the liberation struggle and resistance to white minority rule. Despite much opposition to White rule to halt white encroachment on black land in South Africa, blacks were systematically herded into restricted areas and homelands and their rights to equal opportunity denied. With the formation of the South African Native National Congress (which later became the African National Congress (ANC)) in 1912, the resistance movement became formalised. The ANC strived to improve the conditions of the blacks. Its task became more difficult after the Nationalist Party victory of 1948 - when the grand machinery of Apartheid was put into motion and became law. Each race was given different privileges, some more and others less. Nevertheless, the ANC and its allies continued to seek the freedom of all its peoples and continued to challenge the unjust apartheid laws. When The Congress of the People (held in Kliptown in 1955), adopted the Freedom Charter, the blue-print for a democratic South Africa was laid. The Charter affirmed 'that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no Government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people'. In 1961 South
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