MDANTSANE: (By Faisal Muhammad)– South Africa on Wednesday observed Heritage Day with great enthusiasm and fervor besides marking Mdansan’s 50th anniversary of establishment. (Story prepared and released by The South Africa News, www.thesanews.co.za)
Mdantsane is known as one of the oldest townships in South Africa which gained its significance as catalyst for political activism against the apartheid disposition.
Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe emphasized people to celebrate their rich cultures in befitting manner.
In connection with joyful celebration, people thronged at the local Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, outside East London. Traditional leaders, civil bureaucracy, and political parties’ main leadership in Parliament participated in gala day.
Motlanthe remembered the Egerton Massacre by putting up a wreath at the site where 11 people lost their lives and 36 were wounded in 1983. The bus boycott began on 4 August 1983 at Egerton Railway Station and led to violence on residents by homeland government officials, known as the Green Berets. Communities staged boycott to protest an unannounced 5 percent hike in bus fares.
On Heritage Day, Motlanthe said that people marked this heritage day despite knowing that this day was full of suffering. “This day reminded us how we passed through struggling time and launched a new journey in 1994 to stay united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and just.”
Sipho Masombuka said that marking Heritage Day was vital to help South Africans stay together.
Olwethu Mzaca, 30, said that Heritage Day gave signified real price of freedom and provided an occasion for people to share happiness of a free country.
Motlanthe said that Heritage Day promoted national symbols, redefining a new era that set common hopes and aspirations.
Leaders of political parties called upon South Africans to develop unite in their diversity. “We may have various languages and we may be hailing from different backgrounds but we all have one culture, and that is the South African culture,” said Smuts of COPE.
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said South Africa had emerged as worth living place since 1994, and all credit went to the Constitution that permitted the celebration of the country’s diverse cultures and heritage.
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