26 April 2017
South African Freedom Day
King’s College will be celebrating South African Freedom Day on 27 April this term. There are a number of South African pupils at the schools, and both the Headmaster and Chaplain hail from that country.
On the day itself we will fly the South African flag at the front of the school and special South African-themed lunch will be served in the dining hall.
The day commemorates the first free and fair elections to be held in the country, on 27 April 1994. For the first time South Africans of all races could vote. The day signalled the formal ending of the repressive regime of apartheid, which has lasted for most of the 20th century and under which the majority of South Africans had been kept in political, social and economic servitude. The move towards ending apartheid was largely the result of the extraordinary work and far-sightedness of Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, the South African president at the time, and came after decades of resistance from both inside and outside the country.
Nelson Mandela said of the day:
“As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.”