Statement by the Prime Minister marking South Africa’s 30th Freedom Day

South Africa’s 30th Freedom Day
South Africa’s 30th Freedom Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement marking South Africa’s 30th Freedom Day:

“Thirty years ago today, South Africa began a new chapter. After centuries of colonialism and decades of apartheid, South Africans held their first election open to all voters.

“Now a national holiday in South Africa, Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate democracy. It’s also a day to honour the heroes who led the way, including Nelson Mandela – a symbol of anti-apartheid revolution and freedom who showed us that better is possible.

“Only four months after being released, Nelson Mandela came to Canada – a testament to our country’s strong support for South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. Canadians were proud to play a role in helping South Africa draft its first democratic constitution. And in the years that followed, the bond between our countries only grew: President Mandela became the first foreign leader to be named an honorary Companion of the Order of Canada and the first living person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship.

“Canada remains a strong partner to South Africa. Our countries work closely on a wide range of shared priorities, including fighting climate change, investing in clean energy, and deepening partnership in science, technology, and innovation. We continue to advance these priorities ahead of 2025, when Canada and South Africa will be hosting the G7 and G20 summits, respectively.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I join South African communities in Canada and around the world in marking this milestone anniversary. Our friendship will only get stronger.

“Happy Freedom Day!”


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