At the time they continued to live apart.
President of the Constitutional Court, Chief Justice, Distinguished guests, Fellow South Africans, Iam honoured to welcome you all to our seat of government as we carry out the solemn act of the inauguration of the President of our Republic.
I feel greatly privileged that so many of you could travel from all corners of the globe, from everywhere in Africa and from all parts of our country to lend importance and dignity to this occasion.
That sense of privilege, which will stay with us for all time, is intensified by our recognition of the fact that never before have we, as a people, hosted this large a number of high level delegations representing the peoples of the world.
We thank you most sincerely for your presence which itself constitutes a tribute to the millions of our people and a profound statement of hope that all of us will, together, continue to expand the frontiers of human dignity. For us, as South Africans, this day is as much a Day for the Inauguration of the new government as it is a Day of Salute for a generation that pulled our country out of the abyss and placed it on the pedestal of hope, on which it rests today.
Fortunately, some of these titans are present here today, as they should be. None of us can peer into their hearts to learn what they feel as this infant democracy they brought into the world begins its sixth year of existence. But this I can say, that we who are their offspring know that we owe to them much of what is humane, noble and beautiful in the thoughts and actions of our people, as they strive to build a better world for themselves.
For throughout their lives, they struggled against everything that was ugly, mean, brutish and degrading of the dignity of all human beings. Our nights cannot but be nights of nightmares while millions of our people live in conditions of degrading poverty. Sleep cannot come easily when children get permanently disabled, both physically and mentally, because of lack of food.
No night can be restful when millions have no jobs, and some are forced to beg, rob and murder to ensure that they and their own do not perish from hunger. Our minds will continue the restless inquiry to find out how it is possible to have a surfeit of productive wealth in one part of our common globe and intolerable poverty levels elsewhere on that common globe.
Our days will remain forever haunted when frightening numbers of the women and children of our country fall victim to rape and other crimes of violence. Nor can there be peace of mind when the citizens of our country feel they have neither safety nor security because of the terrible deeds of criminals and their gangs.
Our days and our nights will remain forever blemished as long as our people are torn apart and fractured into contending factions by reason of the racial and gender inequalities, which continue to characterise our society. Neither can peace attend our souls as long as corruption continues to rob the poor of what is theirs and to corrode the value system, which sets humanity apart from the rest of the animal world.
The full meaning of liberation will not be realised until our people are freed both from oppression and from the dehumanising legacy of deprivation we inherited from our past. What we did in was to begin the long journey towards the realisation of this goal. When the millions of our people went to the polls 12 days ago, they mandated us to pursue this outcome.
Our country is in that period of time which the seTswana-speaking people of Southern Africa graphically describe as "mahube a naka tsa kgomo" - the dawning of the dawn, when only the tips of the horn of the cattle can be seen etched against the morning sky. As the sun continues to rise to banish the darkness of the long years of colonialism and apartheid, what the new light over our land must show is a nation diligently at work to create a better life for itself.
What it must show is a palpable process of the comprehensive renewal of our country - its rebirth - driven by the enormous talents of all our people, both black and white, and made possible by the knowledge and realisation that we share a common destiny, regardless of the shapes of our noses.
What we will have to see in the rising light is a government that is fully conscious of the fact that it has entered into a contract with the people, to work in partnership with them to build a winning nation.
In practical and measurable ways, we have to keep pace with the rising sun, progressing from despair to hope, away from a brutal past that forever seeks to drag us backwards towards a new tomorrow that speaks of change in a forward direction. History and circumstance have given us the rare possibility to achieve these objective.
As Africans, we are the children of the abyss, who have sustained a backward march for half-a-millennium. We have been a source for human slaves. Our countries were turned into the patrimony of colonial powers.
We have been victim to our own African predators. If this is not merely the wish being father to the thought, something in the air seems to suggest that we are emerging out of the dreadful centuries which in the practice, and in the ideology and consciousness of some, defined us as sub-human.
As South Africans, whatever the difficulties, we are moving forward in the effort to combine ourselves into one nation of many colours, many cultures and divers origins. No longer capable of being falsely defined as a European outpost in Africa, we are an African nation in the complex process simultaneously of formation and renewal.
And in that process, we will seek to educate both the young and ourselves about everything all our forebears did to uphold the torch of freedom.
It is in this spirit that we are, this year, observing the Centenary of the Commencement of the Anglo-Boer War and the th Anniversary of the Battle of Isandhlwana. We will also work to rediscover and claim the African heritage, for the benefit especially of our young generations.
From South Africa to Ethiopia lie strewn ancient fossils which, in their stillness, speak still of the African origins of all humanity. Being certain that not always were we the children of the abyss, we will do what we have to do to achieve our own Renaissance.
As we speak, both our own, as well as international athletes, are competing in our annual Comrades Marathon which, this year, is dedicated to Nelson Mandela. Our best wishes go to all these, the long distance runners of the Marathon. Those who complete the course will do so only because they do not, as fatigue sets in, convince themselves that the road ahead is still too long, the inclines too steep, the loneliness impossible to bear and the prize itself of doubtful value.The following table was published in Sept/Oct by the now-defunct Continuum magazine (and I expect elsewhere).
It was part of an article by Christine Johnson, of HEAL Los Angeles. The introduction and list of 64 references from 'HIV' literature are not reproduced here. Dec 18, · #africanspeech #speech Welcome to the Great African Leadership Series where we feature great, inspirational Speeches and quotes from African Leaders.
Thabo Mbeki's South African Deputy President. Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, President of the Constitutional Court, Chief Justice, Isithwalandwe Nelson Mandela, Distinguished guests, Fellow South Africans.
An impressive mythology envelops Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela's successor to the South African presidency. But key questions arise: Does he have an ideology? If so, what informs it, and how does it translate into practice?
Would you like to receive periodic updates from us? Please provide us with your email address below. "I Am an African" was a speech made by Thabo Mbeki on behalf of the African National Congress in Cape Town on 8 May , on the occasion of the passing of the new Constitution of South Africa.
At the time Mbeki was the vice president of South Africa under the presidency of Nelson Mandela.