Freedom Park, a National Heritage Destination and an Agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture will on, 01June 2020, commemorate 20 years of its inauguration and its existence thus far. The event takes place amidst the National Lockdown due to the Global Corona Virus Pandemic and will be live- streamed online on 01 June 2020.
The 2nd democratically elected President Mr Thabo Mbeki, Minister of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Freedom Park Deputy Chairperson of Council, Kgosi EM Mabalane, Former Freedom Park Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Mongane Wally Serote and Ms Jane Mufamadi, Freedom Park’s current, Chief Executive Officer, will deliver speeches.
Freedom Park was established to fulfil the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendation, to ‘create monuments in honour of those who paid the ultimate price. Subsequent to effecting this recommendation, the then president Dr. Mandela, announced in his speech delivered in 1999 at Umtata “ a day is not far off, when we shall have a National shrine , a Freedom Park, were we shall honour, with all the dignity they deserve those who endured pain ,so we may experience the joy of freedom”.
Conceptualized as a presidential legacy project, Madiba‘s successor, Former President Thabo Mbeki, and later Presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma respectively ensured that Mandela’s vision is carried out, ensuring government’s imperatives of reconciliation, social cohesion and nation building are realized.
Freedom Park has ensured that the country’s history, heritage, culture, Spirituality and Indigenous Knowledge, are preserved and dipitced in various elements within the Park. Within the Wall of Names, which is the main memorial and one of the main elements featured, comprises over 139 000 names inscribed across the eight conflicts that shaped what South Africa is today. These conflicts are precolonial wars, Wars of Resistance, Genocide, Slavery, the South African war, World War 1 and 2 as well as the Liberation struggle. On 1 June 2020, Freedom Park and the nation, recall 20 years ago when Freedom Park was officially launched.
To date, Freedom Park has accumulated numerous accolades such as being one of the ten most architecturally striking museums of the world. It was also voted’ for three years in succession, as the best Heritage site in Tshwane by Pretoria News readers. It has worked with more than 54 embassies and thus hosted more than 54 heads of states from across the world. The organization has collaborated with several embassies resident in Pretoria, in hosting Dialogues, Exhibitions, Public Lectures and Seminars. Over the years, the entity has received several awards, such as an Award of excellence from the South African Institute of Architects, etc.
Freedom Park ‘s researchers have immensely contributed in the dissemination of knowledge through writing, presentation of research papers in local and international conferences, publication of peer reviewed opinion pieces, articles, chapters and books for public consumption. Notably, the publication of the book called Freedom Park: ‘A place of Emancipation and Meaning’ published in 2015. The next anticipated and forth coming publication is entitled ‘Memory as a Force for Radical Transformation’, which will be launched in September 2020.
Details of the event are as follows:
- Date 1 June 2020
- Time: 11h00
- Follow us on : website: www.freedompark .co.za. @freedom_park and @freedomparkSA. info@ freedompark.co,za
- Naomi Madima : 060 961 3851