Why is Freedom Day so important?

Why is Freedom Day so important?

Today marks 27-years since the first democratic elections took place in South Africa on the 27th of April 1994. 

South African Flag

During apartheid, the African National Congress (ANC) had been fighting for equal rights and freedoms for all citizens of South Africa. 

In those years, many ANC members had been imprisoned or forced out of the country, before the country began its move towards full democracy.

On the 3rd of February 1990, former State President F. W. de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC and released Nelson Mandela from prison on the 11th of February 1990. 

READ: Fun activities to do this Freedom Day

On 17 March 1992, the apartheid referendum was passed by the white-only electorate, removing apartheid and allowing the ANC to run in the next election. Prior to these elections, black South Africans were denied their right to vote.

On 27 April 1994, South Africa had its very first post-apartheid elections. 

Why is this day still so important? 

"Freedom Day is important because it honors the anniversary of South Africa’s first non-racial election and pays homage to the country’s liberation from apartheid rule during which the minority exercised prejudice political power over the majority of the country," Joe Mann said. 

"I used to take voting for granted but now I realize the importance of this right that came at such a cost for some," he continued.

"Freedom Day means equality for everyone. The cost was high, but the reward is priceless," Philicity Reeken added. 

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