- President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed South Africa virtually on Human Rights Day
- He reflected on the hardships of the last year and the effect of Covid-19
- Ramaphosa also looked back on the sacrifices made in Sharpeville all those years ago and how human rights are the cornerstone of South Africa's democracy
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Human Rights Day, he started by reflecting on the fact that the day falls almost exactly a year after Covid-19 was declared a national emergency in the country.
Ramaphosa looked back over the year and the hardships people have endured, losing family and friends to the pandemic. He also mentioned the damage it has caused to the economy and people's lives.
He spoke about the sacrifices people had to make to slow the spread of the virus by socially distancing and restriction of movement around the country. He also noted that people were unable to attend ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
He reminded South Africans that these restrictions were and still are necessary. He looked back on how hard it is to imagine life without social distancing, masks and restrictions, which existed a little over a year ago.
Ramaphosa praised South Africans for coming together and fighting against the spread of the virus. He said people have shown their resilience in the face of the pandemic with courage and resolve.
The virus has not discriminated and affected all people across the country. He used this as a segway to reflect on the heroes who took up the cause of liberty and human rights in Sharpeville.
He appreciated how far South Africa has come since the Sharpeville Massacre, how human rights have become non-negotiable.
Ramaphosa praised the role of the Constitution as the cornerstone of South African society which ensures powerful rights for South Africans.
He acknowledged that the sacrifices made by those on that fateful day in Sharpeville have made it possible the human rights are protected in South Africa and that in terms of Covid-19 the vaccine rollout will ensure that all people living in South Africa will get protection.
Ramaphosa repeated the mantra, "freedom for some is not freedom for all" and that nobody must be left behind when it comes to exercising basic human rights.
He ended his address with this:
"To all South Africans, to all those who call this great beautiful country their home, I wish you a healthy, happy and peaceful Human Rights Day."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Deputy President David Mabuza says he stayed at home due to underlying illnesses at the height of the global pandemic last year. Mabuza was nowhere to be found when Covid-19 landed on SA shores creating quite the buzz online.
His name trended quite a few times on Twitter as officials such as Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation various times on the country's response to the virus.
Mabuza, on the other hand, stated that he kept to himself in order to avoid falling ill while also setting an example for the citizens of the country.
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