Zuma’s unity ges­ture

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma opened a road be­tween the Voortrekker Mon­u­ment and Free­dom Park in Pre­to­ria on the Day of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion yes­ter­day.

Both Zuma and Ru­dolph Botha, chair­man of the Voortrekker Mon­u­ment board, cut a rib­bon to mark the open­ing of the road be­tween the two mon­u­ments.

Speak­ing later at Free­dom Park, Zuma said: “The ini­tia­tive sym­bol­ises a com­mit­ment to na­tion build­ing.”

Zuma said the Voortrekker Mon­u­ment board and the Free­dom Park trust had signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing. “The ges­ture in­di­cates progress in the national project of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion,” he said.

The huge gran­ite struc­ture built to com­mem­o­rate the Voortrekkers, was of­fi­cially in­au­gu­rated by then prime min­is­ter DF Malan. The mon­u­ment was of­ten seen as a sym­bol of apartheid.

Free­dom Park, lo­cated on nearby Sal­vokop hill, was opened in 2007 to com­mem­o­rate democ­racy and in­cludes a wall of names of those who fought against apartheid.

Zuma said he be­lieved that while there was much work to be done, progress to­wards rec­on­cil­i­a­tion was be­ing made.

He urged South Africans of all races to set aside their dif­fer­ences and work to­gether. – Sapa

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