Item 1107 - Address by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to the Gold Shield Award Ceremony

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ZA COM MR-S-1107

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Address by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to the Gold Shield Award Ceremony

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  • 1992-11-20 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

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Gold Shields Award Ceremony

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  • English

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TRANSCRIPT

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Recipients of the Gold Shield Awards,

It is indeed a privilege for me to be with you today, to see so many young, eager and proud faces filled with hope for the future. Today is your day, and it is my pleasure to congratulate all of you on your personal achievement that has singled you out as worthy of a Gold Shield.

In any nation, the youth are the future. And it is precisely that question that I would like to address today.

For generations young people have been deprived of that future; black children have systematically been denied an education, a childhood, or even the hope of a secure and meaningful adult life. White children, too, have been warped by apartheid, nurtured on racism, turned into soldiers, fearful of black people, fearful of the
future.

This ceremony takes place at a time of great challenge for all South Africans, young and old, black and white. Every birth is accompanied by pain and anguish, and the new South Africa is no exception.

Apartheid policies destroyed the very fabric of South African society. Bantu education and the racial policies practised were intended to destroy our people's self image. Instead of dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete, an engineer, a pilot, an electrician or a doctor in service to society, generations of angry and brutalised young people took to the streets to demand an end to degradation and a reign of terror. Many died so that others could live, free and with dignity.

Their love of country and their people has not been in vain. Through their supreme sacrifice, South Africa stands at the dawn of a new and challenging era. To match the demands of the moment that are being made on all of us will require selflessness, fearlessness and the ability to assess, critically and continuously, the environment in which we live.

The ANC sees its responsibility to you and future generations as being one of bringing peace and democracy to South Africa. Young people can only develop well in an atmosphere that provides for their well being. We are determined to provide such an atmosphere.

The ANC initiated and committed itself to create and work within the National Peace Accord in an effort to bring about peace. We met with Heads of State and the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Organisation of African Unity to ensure that international monitors were stationed in South Africa to help stop the killings. We regard the ending of violence as critically important, because one of the main purposes of the violence is to make democratic elections impossible.

We are determined to ensure that the first ever South African one- person, one vote elections are held. Such elections, where every man and woman, irrespective of colour, who is 18 years and over can vote for the organisation and representative of their choice, must be for a parliament that will draw up a new constitution. This will be the first democratic constitution for South Africa.

We want a framework for our country that guarantees the future, with a Bill of Rights, an independent judiciary, an army and police force that know they are there to serve the people, not hound or persecute them. The ANC has developed policies on health, education, economics, the environment, science, technology and housing that are designed to address the historical injustice black South Africa has experienced and lay firm foundations for a prosperous future.

Many governments and international investors want to contribute to the reconstruction of South Africa. But they will only do so when elections have been held that brings about an Interim Government of National Unity. They, too, know that democracy is the only answer for this country.

Decisive and bold leadership is required from all South Africans to steer us through the transition. The ANC will be meeting government representatives within weeks. And we want to emerge from that meeting with a firm election date. We want a government by the people, for the people and of the people.

All of you have excelled, after a long and hard year. To have been chosen for a Gold Shield reflects attributes that our country sorely needs - responsibility, commitment, dedication and the will to succeed.

You and your colleagues throughout this country need to squarely face the challenge of building a new society. This will require strong hearts and deep commitment, coupled with a love and respect for all humanity.

South Africa has much to build, much to learn. We are emerging from decades of an undeclared war, but the ravages on society that war brings are visible all around us. The world that is being built now is your world. You have a major role to play in such reconstruction. That is the challenge that faces all of you.

Looking around me, I am acutely conscious of the energy and impatience with which you face the future. It fills me with hope and confidence. With young people like you, I know that the new South Africa will grow and become a wonderful place in which to live.

Go and grapple with the challenges ahead, for the future is yours!

SHORT STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, NELSON MANDELA, AT THE MEETING OF THE OAU AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON SOUTHERN AFRICA: GABORONE, BOTSWANA: OCTOBER 15, 1992.
MR CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT ABDOU DIOUF,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES, HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT;
YOUR EXCELLENCY, SALIM AHMED SALIM,
DISTINGUISHED MINISTERS, AMBASSADORS, COMRADES AND
FRIENDS:
IT IS GOOD THAT WE MEET AGAIN TO SHARE VIEWS ABOUT THE SITUATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. I SAY THIS PARTICULARLY IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGOLA, MOZAMBIQUE AND SOUTH AFRICA.
ACCORDINGLY, WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CONGRATULATE H.E. PRESIDENT JOAQUIM CHISSANO AND THE GOVERNMENT HE LEADS ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT WITH RENAMO.
WE SINCERELY HOPE THAT THIS WILL, AT LAST, BRING PEACE TO MOZAMBIQUE AND ESTABLISH THE CONDITIONS FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE COUNTRY AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE

LIVES OF THE PEOPLE, TO WHICH PRESIDENT CHISSANO AND HIS COLLEAGUES HAVE DEVOTED THEIR ENTIRE LIVES.
WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXTEND OUR DEEP APPRECIATION TO PRESIDENTS MUGABE AND MASIRE FOR THE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION THEY MADE TO THE HAPPY RESULT THAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED IN MOZAMBIQUE.
WE ARE READY TO MAKE ANY INPUT WITHIN OUR MEANS THAT MAY BE REQUIRED OF US TO HELP CONSOLIDATE THE PEACE PROCESS IN MOZAMBIQUE AND TRUST THAT PRESIDENT CHISSANO WILL ACCEPT THIS UNDERTAKING, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMILITY WITH WHICH WE MAKE IT.
WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXTEND OUR SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS TO PRESIDENT EDUARDO DOS SANTOS AND HIS COLLEAGUES IN THE MPLA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF ANGOLA BOTH FOR THEIR VICTORY IN THE ELECTIONS AND THE EXEMPLARY MANNER IN WHICH THESE ELECTIONS WERE CONDUCTED.
IT IS OUR FERVENT HOPE THAT DR SAVIMBI AND UNITA WILL ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN WHICH THE ANGOLAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED AND RESPOND
POSITIVELY TO THE GENEROUS AND PATRIOTIC OFFER OF THE MPLA TO JOIN A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY IN THE INTERESTS OF ALL THE PEOPLE OF ANGOLA AND, INDEED, OUR REGION AS A WHOLE.

ONCE AGAIN, WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO CARRY OUT WHATEVER MAY BE REQUIRED OF US TO HELP REINFORCE THE HEALTHY PROCESS OF RENEWAL IN WHICH ANGOLA IS ENGAGED.
SINCE WE LAST MET IN DAKAR, SENEGAL AT THE OAU SUMMIT, SOME IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN OUR OWN COUNTRY.
IN THIS REGARD, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS THE APPRECIATION OF THE ANC AS WELL AS MY OWN, FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION THIS COMMITTEE TOOK IN ARUSHA, WHICH HAS RESULTED IN THE STATIONING OF UN OBSERVERS IN OUR COUNTRY.
WE TRUST THAT THE OAU WILL ALSO MOVE WITH SOME EXPEDITION TO SEND ITS OWN OBSERVERS, HAVING CONSIDERED THE REPORT OF ITS LAST FACT-FINDING MISSION.
WE ARE CONVINCED THAT THESE INITIATIVES WILL HELP US GREATLY TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN OUR COUNTRY, WHICH CONTINUES TO BLIGHT THE LIVES OF OUR PEOPLE AND THREATEN THE PROCESS OF NEGOTIATIONS.
AS THE MEETING IS AWARE, WE ALSO REACHED VARIOUS AGREEMENTS WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AIMED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AT ADDRESSING THE SELF-SAME QUESTION OF VIOLENCE. WE WILL DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO ENSURE

THAT THE GOVERNMENT HONOURS THE AGREEMENTS INTO WHICH IT ENTERS WITH OUR ORGANISATION.
THE DECISIONS TAKEN AT THE BILATERAL MEETING BETWEEN THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND OURSELVES, HAVE OPENED THE WAY TOWARDS THE RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS AT BOTH THE BILATERAL AND MULTI-LATERAL LEVELS.
IT IS OUR EXPECTATION THAT FURTHER BILATERAL MEETINGS BETWEEN OURSELVES AND THE PRETORIA REGIME TO TAKE THE PROCESS OF NEGOTIATIONS FURTHER FORWARD, WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE BEGINNING OF NEXT MONTH, NOVEMBER.
BEFORE THIS, WE WILL ALSO ENGAGE IN A WIDE PROCESS OF DISCUSSIONS WITH A VARIETY OF OTHER ORGANISATIONS, INCLUDING THE MEMBER ORGANISATIONS OF THE PATRIOTIC FRONT, TO EVOLVE COMMON POSITIONS WHICH WE WILL THEN PUT TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT.
WE ARE INTERESTED THAT SPEEDY MOVEMENT FORWARD BE ACHIEVED TO FINALISE THE MATTERS THAT WERE NOT COMPLETED AT THE SECOND SESSION OF CODESA IN MAY. FOR THIS, CODESA WILL HAVE TO RECONVENE ONCE THE ROUND OF BILATERAL DISCUSSIONS TO WHICH WE HAVE REFERRED IS COMPLETED.
FINALISATION OF THESE VARIOUS MATTERS WOULD THEN OPEN THE WAY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STRUCTURES OF THE FIRST

PHASE OF THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT AND, LATER, THE HOLDING OF ELECTIONS FOR THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY AND THE ELECTED INTERIM GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY.
WE DO HOPE THAT AGREEMENT ON ALL THE RELEVANT MATTERS WILL BE REACHED BEFORE THE YEAR ENDS, SO THAT NEXT YEAR WE BEGIN THE PROCESS OF DRAWING UP THE NEW DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION.
WE ARE HOWEVER ALSO STILL CONFRONTED BY OTHER CHALLENGES, ONE OF THESE BEING THE PROBLEM OF THE ABSENCE OF A CLIMATE FOR FREE POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN A NUMBER OF THE BANTUSTAN AREAS.
IT WAS TO SUPPRESS THE STRUGGLE AIMED AT SECURING SUCH A CLIMATE THAT GQOZO'S SOLDIERS MASSACRED OUR PEOPLE AT BISHO.
BEARING IN MIND OUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO EXPOSE THE PEOPLE TO THE DANGER OF SUCH MASSACRES, WE NEVERTHELESS HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO OPPOSE THE REPRESSION THAT IS GOING ON IN THE AFFECTED AREAS. IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT THE PEOPLE ARE PREPARING FOR FURTHER MASS DEMONSTRATIONS IN VARIOUS FORMS TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE OFFENDING BANTUSTAN ADMINISTRATIONS.
HOWEVER WE ARE ALSO ENGAGED IN OUR OWN INTERNAL PROCESS OF

CONSULTATION CONCERNING THE POSSIBILITY OF MEETING THESE ADMINISTRATIONS TO PERSUADE THEM TO END THE REPRESSIVE PRACTICES IN WHICH THEY ARE ENGAGED,
IT IS CLEAR THAT WERE THESE MEETINGS TO TAKE PLACE, THEY WOULD NEED THOROUGH PREPARATION SO THAT THEY PRODUCE CONCRETE RESULTS AND AGREEMENTS THAT ARE ENFORCEABLE.
IN ADDITION TO THIS, WE CONTINUE TO HOLD THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE BANTUSTAN AREAS AND HAVE ENGAGED IT IN DISCUSSIONS TO ENSURE THAT IT ACTS TO REMOVE ALL OBSTACLES TO FREE POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN THESE AREAS.
THESE DISCUSSIONS ARE CONTINUING COVERING THIS AND OTHER MATTERS, SUCH AS THE ROLE OF THE SECURITY FORCES IN THE PERPETRATION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE.
AT THE SAME TIME, WE WILL DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO ENSURE THAT THE REGIME HONOURS THE AGREEMENTS IT ENTERED INTO WHEN WE MET ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER. THIS IS IMPORTANT IN EVERY RESPECT, INCLUDING THE CRITICAL MATTER OF THE REDUCTION OF THE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRY.
WE FULLY APPRECIATE THE CONCERN OF THIS COMMITTEE AND OUR CONTINENT AS A WHOLE ABOUT THE QUESTION OF UNITY. WE OURSELVES SHARE THIS CONCERN.

HOWEVER I WOULD, ONCE MORE, LIKE TO PLEAD WITH YOUR EXCELLENCIES TO LEAVE THIS MATTER TO US. OVER AND OVER AGAIN OUR PEOPLE HAVE DEMONSTRATED THEIR UNITY BY ENGAGING IN COMMON ACTION IN THEIR MILLIONS, AS HAPPENED IN THE GENERAL STRIKE WHICH TOOK PLACE ONLY TWO MONTHS AGO.
FURTHERMORE, THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF ORGANISATIONS WHICH CONSTITUTE THE PATRIOTIC FRONT CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER AS MEMBERS OF THIS FRONT.
I AM CERTAIN THAT IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, WE WILL FIND THE NECESSARY SOLUTIONS TO THE QUESTION OF DIFFERENCES AMONG VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS. WE ARE PERMANENTLY SEIZED WITH THIS ISSUE AS WE BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD NEITHER IGNORE IT NOR TREAT IT LIGHTLY.
ONCE MORE WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR PROFOUND APPRECIATION FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ASSURE YOU OF OUR UNCHANGING RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE SPEEDY MOVEMENT FORWARD TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE VARIOUS OBJECTIVES WHICH WILL OPEN THE WAY TO THE DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATION OF OUR COUNTRY.
THANK YOU.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 13/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata

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