Tue | Sep 19, 2017

South Africa celebrates 23 Years of Freedom

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 5:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Minister of National Security Robert Montague (left) is welcomed by charge d'affaires of the South African High Commission Philip Riley, to his country's 23rd National Day celebrations.
Chargé d'affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy, Luisa Gutierrez, and her husband, Luis Felipe Bellorin.
Sisters and the women of Nielssen's Properties (from left) Marcia Gallow, Jacqui Nielssen and Jennifer Clarke looking quite stunning.
Honorary Consul of Latvia Robert Scott shares a photo op with Honorary Consul of Ecuador Clelia Barreto de Hunter.
nister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson-Smith makes a toast with chargé d’affaires of the High Commission of South Africa, Philip Riley.
Paula McFayden (left) and wife of the First Secretary of the High Commission of South Africa Thembisa Rabe and their son Qhayiya celebrates South Africa's Freedom Day.
Mexican Ambassador Cecelia Jaber and her son Francisco lends their support to the South African High Commission at their Freedom Day celebration.
Russian Ambassador Vladimir Vinokurov catches up with director of bilateral relations Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shorna-Kay Richards.
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The Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew was filled with well-wishers and supporters as the South African High Commission in Jamaica celebrated National Day last week Thursday.

It was a night of celebration - another opportunity to recognise the milestone of South Africa's Freedom Day, and it has been a great 23 years. Diplomats and friends of the high commission were warmly received by chargÈ d'affaires Philip Riley and his wife, Desiree.

After guests got a chance to catch up, the formalities began with the national anthems of Jamaica and South Africa. Riley then gave his remarks, thanking the Jamaican people for their continued support. He spoke not only of a South Africa before Freedom Day, but also of how far the nation has come since. There are still ways to improve but the progress cannot go unnoticed, he pointed out.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson-Smith expressed similar sentiments. She mentioned not only those who stood with South Africa, but the man who was a force to be reckoned with as he stood for his rights and his country - Nelson Mandela.

"The joy felt by South Africans as they cast their ballots on that memorable day, could only have been matched by their euphoria over the release of the man who had come to represent the struggle to end apartheid - Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela - father of the Modern South Africa and its first democratically elected leader," she said.

The chargÈ d'affaires and the minister toasted, and there ended the formalities, but the celebration continued into the night.