Freedom Day Message for South Africa

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 27, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Republic of South Africa on the 21st anniversary of your nation’s first democratic elections on April 27.

On Freedom Day, we celebrate the remarkable election that made the late Nelson Mandela president and ended apartheid peacefully. Mandela knew that freedom is not achieved simply by breaking the bonds of tyranny. Freedom means liberation from hunger, poverty, and all forms of discrimination. Two decades later, your country is leading the charge to make these ideas a reality for all people.

You have established a strong democratic tradition which has spanned the last five elections, all held peacefully. You are also a regional leader as one of Africa’s largest economies, and have pulled millions of people out of poverty. The United States is proud that our companies’ investments are helping to create jobs, economic freedom, and prosperity from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

On this joyous occasion, we celebrate South Africa’s remarkable past and look to its bright future.