Freedom Day: Opposition parties lament high unemployment, focus on land question
The EFF said it was the only party willing and capable of delivering the objective of the return of the land to the dispossessed for the restoration of citizens' pride, dignity and economic development.
JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties have used the celebration of Freedom Day to note the changes the country has made, but also to highlight how long the road ahead still is.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) KwaZulu-Natal premier candidate Velenkosi Hlabisa said South Africa's twenty-five-year-old freedom was only “half baked”.
Hlabisa was on a door-to-door campaign in eShowe. He later headed to an IFP rally at KwaKhoza to address supporters.
He said it was unacceptable that unemployment and crime were still high and healthcare poor.
"We are going to one of the households where people are living in a shack. After 25 years of freedom our people have no houses, so we are going around to say we are celebrating half-baked freedom."
'AFRICAN PEOPLE REMAIN LANDLESS'
Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) highlighted the issue of land as the party commemorated Freedom Day.
"The struggle for freedom in South Africa originated in the wars of colonial dispossession where our people lost their land and the right to call this place their home. As a result, they came together from different ethnicities to fight together in order to regain their land," the party said in a statement.
"Without the land, it is disingenuous to celebrate freedom, because the struggle for freedom centred and originated on the land question."
The EFF added that it is the only party willing and capable of delivering the objective of the return of the land to the dispossessed for the restoration of citizens' pride, dignity and economic development.
'CORRUPTION, LIES TEARING AT TEARING AT SOCIOECONOMIC FABRIC'
In his Freedom Day message, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said while "there is much to be proud of, the hard reality is that corruption, lies and mismanagement has been tearing at our socio-economic fabric to the point where this nation has been brought down on its knees".
The party said it dedicated the day to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela whose "firm style with which she ran her term of office is much to be admired and she earned the hearts of a grateful nation".
"Her mettle, professionalism and resolve saw Professor Madonsela stare down the lion’s maw when she pronounced on corruption in the highest office of the land and state capture. If not for her, this country would have gone down the drain of dishonesty of the highest order," he said.