11 April 2013
South Africa needs to honour the men and women who helped the country attain freedom and democracy, says President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma was speaking in Pretoria on Wednesday at the official renaming ceremony of the Department of Correctional Services’ Pretoria Management Area to Kgosi Mampuru II Management Area.
“As South Africans from all walks of life, regardless of the role we played in history or what we believed in then, we have a responsibility to respect and acknowledge the past, celebrate the present and build the future together,” Zuma said.
The event also served as the official launch of Freedom Month. South Africa attained its democracy in April 1994 when South Africans of all races voted for their government for the first time.
Kgosi Mampuru, a traditional leader who resisted colonial rule, was hanged in Pretoria prison on 22 November 1883, something Zuma said made it fitting to name the management area after him.
“The new name should create a general feeling of belonging, because it captures our history and creates a context of relevance. We are pleased therefore, to launch Freedom Month with such a historic event.
“This renaming today also marks a historical milestone in our correctional heritage. To be effective, and relevant, the field of corrections, as well as its facilities, must talk to the history that has gone before it, shaping it and drawing inspirations from it.”
Zuma added that the government had an extensive ongoing heritage programme that included the upgrading and declaration of historic sites to ensure a more representative and inclusive South African history and heritage.
He said the building and maintenance of new monuments and historic sites had great potential to stimulate economic activity and create jobs in communities where these sites were located. These sites would also contribute towards cultural tourism both domestically and internationally.
“We will work together with the people of South Africa and the world to ensure that we preserve and promote our rich cultural heritage,” Zuma said.
“We regard this work as central towards transformation, nation building, national identity and building a socially cohesive South African society that is non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous.”