13 December 1993
December 16 1993 marks the 32nd anniversary of our glorious army - Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). The need for the majority of our people led by the ANC to embark upon the armed struggle arose only when all other avenues to resolve legitimate grievances were closed down. For close on to half a century, the ANC had used all peaceful means of struggle to convince the governments of the day to negotiate the future of our country to no avail.
After many years of apartheid political and economic mismanagement, the National Party government has finally come to its senses and agreed to the framework of a transition to democracy. We owe much of this great advance to the sacrifices made by our MK commanders and combatants, the great masses of our country and the international community.
As we celebrate this year`s anniversary we pay tribute to those who paid the supreme price in the service of our country, its people, democracy peace and justice. In this regard the ANC dips its banners in memory of our beloved and murdered Chief of Staff Chris Hani, Moses Mabhida Khayinga, Mkhaba, Mini, Mosololi, Barney Molokoane, Mogoerane, Motaung, Mahlangu, Moloise, and other heroes who laid down their lives in Matola, Maseru, Frontline states and in many other operations in the country.
This year`s celebrations take place against the background of a major advance of our people through multi-party negotiations process towards peace, democracy and justice. For the first time in the history of our country, the majority of our people will participate in shaping the destiny of our country through elections on April 27 1994.
Negotiations around the integration of all armed forces, the formation of the new defence force and the National Peace-Keeping Force are at an advanced stage. For the first time our people will be an integral part of the Defence Forces of our country whose central task shall be the defence of the integrity and sovereignty of a future democratic South Africa and not destabilisation and aggression against the majority of our people. MK once more re-commits itself to these ideals.
We hope that the solutions we have jointly worked through multi-party negotiations have removed the need for a section of our country to ever resort to any form of armed activity to resolve the country`s political problems.
December 16 will be celebrated throughout the country in the form of rallies in the regions of the ANC. The main rally will be held at Orlando Stadium and will be addressed by ANC President Nelson Mandela. The rally will start at 9h00 with a march past parade.
Several medals for bravery will be awarded to a number of MK combatants including those who lost their lives. A number of local and foreign military dignitaries including Major-General Bantu Holomisa, General I. Khama of Botswana, Bafana Yose of APLA, Major General T T Matanzima, Brig. Ramushwana, Alex Francis of Tanzanian Defence Force, Brig. Van der Bank of the Ciskei Defence Force, Bafana Yose of APLA, Major General Mugisha of National Resistance Army of Uganda, Major-General Mbita of the OAU Liberation Committee are expected to attend.
Among political and civil organisations invited are AZAPO, Soweto Civic Association, SACP, Cosatu and the SACC. Guests also include representatives from the Namibian Defence Ministry, Angolan and Mozambican Trade Mission and H E Eumelio Caballero of Cuba.
OTHER RALLIES INCLUDE:
S. OFS/N. OFS/N. CAPE: 10h00- Seisa Ramabodu stadium, Bloemfontein
NATAL: 9h00 - Curries Fountain, Durban
N. TVL: 9h00 - University of Venda Thohoyandou
E. TVL: 10h00 - Kanyamazane stadium Nelspruit
E. CAPE: 8h00 - march from Centenary Hall in New Brighton to Dan Qeqe stadium Zwide township Port Elizabeth
W. TVL: 9h00 - Makotter stadium Klerksdorp
BORDER: 9h00 - Sisha Dukashe Stadium (flag raising at 6h00)
Details for the PWV Region have already been released. Other details will be released in due course.
The ANC calls on all our people, black and white, to celebrate this occasion with discipline and the dignity it deserves.
Issued by the Department of Information and Publicity