Address at the Freedom Day Celebrations at the Union Buildings by the UDM President (27 April 2010)

 

Ladies and gentlemen

We wish to thank President Zuma for inviting the UDM to share a platform with him on this important day.

It is important to commemorate days such as this and that all South Africans gather in this manner to remember the value of our freedom. It also provides an opportunity for South Africans to reflect on the progress and challenges since the advent of democracy.

If I had more than two minutes speaking-time I would dwell more on the challenges and progress that have been made, however I will leave that to the President and others. Suffice to say that many other democracies before us on this continent have collapsed because of a lack of unity and direction. Those collapses were occasioned by the misuse of state resources, nepotism, corruption, lack of tangible service delivery, racism, ethnicity and tribalism.

When we review the progress made thus far we need to measure ourselves against these dangers.

It is an open secret, endorsed by many in this country (including successive Presidents) that the levels of corruption are proving to be a threat to our democracy. Who would’ve thought that we would spend 15 years, more or less on a daily basis, reading reports about politicians and civil servants being exposed for corruption and being investigated for fraud or fighting over tenders?

The challenge now is to change this situation as speedily as possible, because if we don’t we would be creating the conditions for a second revolution as we have witnessed in other young democracies on the continent.

I thank you.