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Posted On: 27 April 2009 09:30 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

South Africans mark Freedom Day today

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South Africans here— whose number is estimated at 4,000 — will be celebrating their country’s Freedom Day today. The Freedom Day marks the holding of first democratic elections in post-Apartheid South Africa on April 27, 1994, South Africa’s Ambassador to Qatar, Dr Vincent Zulu, told reporters yesterday. He said his fellow countrymen here, who were eligible to vote in the country’s general elections held recently, were given an opportunity to exercise their franchise at a polling booth set up at the embassy. The ballots were later flown to South Africa for counting. Most South Africans in Qatar are employed in the vibrant oil and gas industry. “We have come a long way from our divided and bitter past to a society based on equality, dignity and respect for human rights,” an emotionally-charged Zulu said. “The 2009 Freedom Day celebrations express our pride in the achievements we have made as a nation in the past 15 years, and our commitment to overcome the challenges we face.” Present at the press briefing was Counsellor at the embassy, Zeenat Adam. According to the diplomats, the present government would follow the same policies which its predecessors followed, and would rather focus on their effective implementation. Responding to questions, Zulu said a policy entitled Black Economic Empowerment envisages promoting people at the grassroots level in jobs and in middle management positions in private and public sectors. South Africa is hosting the World Cup soccer in 2010 and its major concern now is to promote the event to ensure that it attracts a large numbers of visitors from all around the world. Qatar is embarking on its bid to host this spectacular sporting event in 2022. “I take this opportunity to wish them all the best,” said Zulu. “I am sure that for the love of the game, we will see a lot of Qataris going to South Africa for the Confederation Cup this June and then, for the FIFA World Cup next year.” Zulu said he wanted bilateral trade with Qatar to reach higher levels.