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Look what made our front page in the April 29, 1994, issue

ANC president Nelson Mandela said it was now time to work for reconciliation, peace and a better life for all.

The front page of Boksburg Advertiser dated April 29, 1994, featured messages of hope for voters from President FW de Klerk, IFP leader Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi and ANC president Nelson Mandela ahead of the country’s first democratic election on April 27 that year:

FW de Klerk:

“Over many years, SA has been divided and polarised in many ways. Not only the country but families and individuals paid a heavy price. Unfortunately, and tragically, many paid with their lives.

“Now, the groundwork for peace in our beautiful land has been laid through a process of painstaking negotiation. We now have a constitution that enables us to settle our differences peacefully and democratically.

“A constitution that gives every South African a proud place under the sun. We owe it to the children of the country to turn our eyes to the future. We must take hands and build a great country and a nation we all deserve.”

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Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi:

“Everyone in SA wants jobs, education, a just society, peace and security. The IFP will help you acquire this by giving you government support while limiting government interference.

We will make SA a winning nation by giving you the freedom to choose, promoting a work ethic and respect for others, encouraging competition, allowing groups to retain their identity and keeping corruption out of government. We want a strong central government that cannot dictate to you.

“We want a strong provincial government that is answerable to you. We want investor confidence in our free-market economy. We want equal opportunity for all, without discrimination for any reason. We will develop special programmes and assistance for those disadvantaged in the past.

“The IFP had the courage to stand up and effectively oppose deals, communism, intimidation and a one-party state. The IFP will not dictate to you. It will create a climate in which everything becomes possible.”

Nelson Mandela:

“SA stands on the brink of one of the greatest and joyous occasions in the history of our country. For the first time in the history of our country, every South African will be able to vote for the party and leaders they support, and more remarkably, we have been able to achieve this through negotiations.

“In 1986, when I suggested to the government that the time had come for us to resolve SA’s problems through negotiations, I was confident my endeavour to bring peace and democracy through dialogue would finally bear fruit. Today, we are almost there, especially after the positive developments last week when the IFP joined the process and is now also calling on people to vote.

“That we have made these major strides is a tribute, above all, to the efforts and sacrifices of millions of South Africans.

“The ANC’s vision of a SA in which people live in peace and with equal opportunities is an ideal which sustained me during 27 years in prison. I live in confidence that those years and the sacrifices of my compatriots were not in vain. I am confident that over the coming years, we will work together to build a united nation in a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic SA.

“Our children and grandchildren should never again know the violence and suffering, the shame and the pain many of us endured. They should enjoy their childhood secure in family life and grow up with equal opportunities to live life to the full.

“I call on all South Africans to join hands and work together to build a great SA. Now is the time to work for reconciliation, peace and a better life for all.”

ALSO READ: Things You Wouldn’t Believe Nelson Mandela Could Say


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