The address by His Excellency Mr. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma on the occasion of his inauguration as the fourth President of the Republic of South Africa. Issued by The Presidency, Union Buildings (title selected by this publication).
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government and Leaders and Members of delegations, Chairpersons of the African Union and the African Commission, Esteemed Members of the Order of Mapungubwe, our icon the Honorable Nelson Mandela, and the Honorable Thabo Mbeki, Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, ChiefJustice, Pius Langa, Members of the Diplomatic corps, Mama Albertina Sisulu and all veterans of our struggle, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
On this day, a decade and a half ago, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was formally elected as the first President of a democratic South Africa.
At that moment a new nation was born, a nation founded on the fundamental principles of human dignity and equal rights for all.
A nation founded on the promise that 'never, never and never again' would this land experience the oppression of one by another.
Today, a decade and a half later, we gather here to reaffirm the promise of that great day.
We gather here determined to renew that most solemn undertaking, to build a society in which all people are freed from the shackles of discrimination, exploitation, want and disease.
We gather here determined that the struggles and sacrifices of our people over many decades shall not be in vain.
Instead, they shall inspire us to complete the task for which so much blood was shed, and so much hardship endured. This is a moment of renewal.
When Madiba took the oath of office on the 10th of May 1994, it was one of the greatest historic moments of our country, Africa and the African Diaspora.
Madiba healed our wounds and established the rainbow nation very firmly.
He set us on the path of nation building and prosperity and made us a respected member of the world community of nations. He taught us that all South Africans have equal claim to this country, and that there can be no lasting peace unless all of us, black and white, learned to live together in harmony and peace.
He made reconciliation the central theme of his term of office.
We will not deviate from that nation-building task. Thank you Madiba, for showing us the way.
I would also like to acknowledge the...