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Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe lights the Flame of Democracy to mark the 15th anniversary of the Constitution of South Africa at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg over the weekend.
“We must light the flame to dispel the darkness of our past. The Eternal Flame of democracy that we are lighting today must never blow out but for ever cast light on our nation.”
That is according to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe who was speaking at the 15th anniversary of the Constitution of the South Africa at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg over the weekend.
In attendance was Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Constitution Hill Trust Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, Former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson, Cheryl Carolus and former Chief Justices among the many dignitaries.
To mark the anniversary, Motlanthe lit the Flame of Democracy, which would be a permanent fixture in one of the four remaining stairwells of the Awaiting Trial Block prison directly opposite the Constitutional Court. The Flame of Democracy was ignited by former president Nelson Mandela and brought up from Qunu in the Eastern Cape to Constitution Hill.
“This light symbolises our inner strength, let us pass it on to future generations. Let the flame of democracy reign supreme forever,” said Motlanthe. A beam of light will be projected into the night sky, for the first time, and it will become a fixture on the city’s skyline.
The deputy president added that the Constitution should always reign supreme. This year marks 15 years since we stood in the sun in Sharpeville as the first democratic Constitution of South Africa was signed into law by the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, he said.
Motlanthe said achieving constitutional democracy was the biggest milestone in South Africa’s political history.