Today I am grateful for the fact that in two weeks time ALL South Africans will have a chance to vote for the 5th time since South Africa became a democracy.

I know that 20 years is a short short time and many South African’s will only be able to vote for the first time today but will not have been born when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

No matter your age, we should all remember why we MUST vote this year. Over to you, Tata…

Nelson Mandela`s statement after voting in South Africa`s First Democratic Election

27 April 1994, Inanda, Kwazulu Natal

“This is for all South Africans, an unforgettable occasion. It is the realisation of hopes and dreams that we have cherished over decades. The dreams of a South Africa which represents all South Africans.

It is the beginning of a new era. We have moved from an era of pessimism, division, limited opportunities, turmoil and conflict.

We are starting a new era of hope, reconciliation and nation building.

We sincerely hope that by the mere casting of a vote the results will give hope to all South Africans and make all South Africans realise this is our country. We are one nation.

Our message is that the basic needs of the masses of the people must be addressed: the creation of jobs, of houses, the introduction of electricity, building of schools and hospitals, providing free, compulsory quality education, running water, paved roads. These are our priorities.

But we are also concerned about the minorities in the country – especially the white minority. We are concerned about giving confidence and security to those who are worried that by these changes they are now going to be in a disadvantaged position. I again repeat that I have throughout my life as I pointed out in the Rivonia Trial:

  • I have fought very firmly against white domination. I have fought very firmly against black domination.
  • I cherish the idea of a new South Africa where all South Africans are equal and work together to bring about security, peace and democracy in our country. I sincerely hope that the mass media will use its powerful position to ensure that democracy is installed in this country.”

And I thank you.”