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Ramaphosa slams xenophobia, display of old SA flag as acts of 'division'

While taking time to acknowledge the progress made over the years, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa was still unequal.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd at the official Freedom Day celebrations on 27 April 2019 in Makhanda. Picture: @presidencyZA/Twitter

MAKHANDA - President Cyril Ramaphosa has slammed those who pledge allegiance to the old South African flag and those who attack foreigners, fanning division the country

Ramaphosa made the remarks while leading the official Freedom Day commemoration in Makhanda, Eastern Cape, on Saturday.

"Despite the progress we have made, we are, to be honest, still confronted by sinister attempts to undermine the unity of our nation through acts of racism, through attacks of foreign nationals and in the open display of the old South African flag."

He also lamented what he said were the country's "great divisions".

“There are great divisions between rich and poor between urban and rural, between men and women, between those who have jobs and those who are unemployed. There are still divisions between those who own land and those who have been deprived of it.”

While taking time to acknowledge the progress made over the years the president said South Africa was still unequal.

There was also a moment of silence for those who died in the recent floods in parts of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as well as those battered by Cyclone Idai in neighbouring countries.

Celebrations turned into an African National Congress (ANC) rally as many of those in the crowd wore ANC colours and sang the party’s songs. No opposition parties were present.

At the conclusion of the programme a choir sang a tribute to Ramaphosa who delighted the crowd by jumping up and dancing along.