Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden
21 March 2017
Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre, but all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for South Africa’s freedom, says Freedom Park Chief Executive Officer Jane Mufamadi.
Photo: Swedish Ambassador Cecilia Julin laying a wreath at Isivivine, Freedom Park (www.facebook.com/SwedeninSA)
“Our struggle was waged under the four arms, one being international solidarity, and therefore, in honouring those who sacrificed, we also pay tribute to the international communities that made the sacrifices and supported us,” Mufamadi said.
Speaking at a ceremony to memorialize the Swedish International Solidarity to people of South Africa during the liberation struggle, Mufamadi said it is an open secret that the Swedish people contributed greatly for the attainment of freedom and that they also continued to support South Africa even in preparing the country for the first democratic elections.
“We are also aware that Sweden has been supporting efforts aimed at ensuring that we do not forget links forged during the liberations struggle,” Mufamadi said.
Mufamadi said documentaries, books and even archival material in institutions like the Nordic Africa Institute bears testimony to that.
The Freedom Park has been involved in the project of the Memorialisation of Swedish Solidarity during the liberation struggle since 2014.
According to Mufamadi, the project resulted in a number of activities which include, amongst others, meetings in South Africa with the former Swedish Ambassador Anders Hagelburg as well as having meetings in Sweden.
“We signed the MOU with Kalmar lans Museum and we are already implementing some of the programmes,” he said.
Swedish Ambassador Cecilia Julin said she was excited to be in South Africa representing Sweden, a country that supported South Africans during the struggle for democracy.
“It is pertinent to be here at Salvokop honouring the people that fought the battle, some of whom paid the ultimate price,” Julin said.
Ambassador Julin said Sweden is proud to have contributed to the downfall of the apartheid regime.
As part of the event, a wreath laying ceremony was conducted at the Isivivine at the Freedom Park and a moment of silent was observed in remembrance of those people who died during the struggle against the apartheid regime.
Also at the event, Freedom Park CEO was presented with a list of Swedish names of people who died during the struggle to liberate South Africa from the apartheid regime.
In total, the list contains 55 names and according to Mufamadi, the Swedish government will bring more names to be inscribed at the Wall of Names at the Freedom Park.
In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called the Sharpeville Massacre the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.