Item 1185 - Address by Nelson Mandela President of the African National Congress to the Scottish Committee of the Anti- Apartheid Movement Rally

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ZA COM MR-S-1185


Address by Nelson Mandela President of the African National Congress to the Scottish Committee of the Anti- Apartheid Movement Rally


  • 1993-10-10 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

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  • English

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Citizens of Glasgow. We are here today to say thank you. For it was your City which refused to forget our plight when I was incarcerated on Robben Island with others in the leadership of the African National Congress.

Twelve years ago, in 1981, you bestowed upon me the Freedom of your great City of Glasgow.

It was a tremendous honour for me personally.

It was also of great symbolic significance. For you were granting to me the Freedom of your City when the apartheid regime was imprisoning us and indeed all our people in the land of our birth.

But above all, it was an act of commitment. You, the people of Glasgow, pledged that you would not relax until I was free to receive this honour in person. I am deeply grateful to you and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Scotland for all your efforts to this end. Indeed it was from this Square that, on the occasion of my 70th birthday, the Nelson Mandela Marchers set out for London in June 1988 to demand my release and that of all South African political prisoners.

People of Glasgow. I am now free to be with you. This is why I am here to say thank you. But I am still denied the most fundamental of freedoms - the right to vote. Nor are our people free from apartheid, free from poverty, free from homelessness, or free from unemployment and exploitation.

Therefore I am also here to urge you to make a new pledge. I want you to pledge that you will not relax your efforts until all our people have their freedom.

But I bring also with me today a message of hope. We have made great progress towards our goal of one-person one-vote elections. Legislation has been agreed for the establishment of a multi-party Transitional Executive Council to oversee the governing of the country up to elections and on an Independent Electoral Commission to organise them.

27 April 1994 has been set for South Africa's first ever non-racial elections. Our people in just over six months time will be able to vote for freedom.

This election will above all be a choice between the ANC and its vision of a new democratic South Africa and those who still cling to the old apartheid order. But as you are aware, there are various forces within South Africa which refuse to accept the inevitability of a democratic future for our country. They do not enjoy popular support but derive their strength from the fear, insecurity and destabilisation which they seek to impose through the brutal terrorism of unknown killers who have a total disregard for the value of human life. There are also other forces which, because of their narrow, selfish and sectarian interests, are resisting genuine change and are creating obstacles to a smooth transition to democracy.

This is why we still need your support and solidarity. The international community must insist that these elections take place as agreed and that they are free and fair. We, in the ANC, in particular, need the resources to contest the elections on an equitable basis. Without such support the elections cannot be deemed to be genuinely free and fair. We hope you will all
contribute generously to 'Votes for Freedom' which we have launched in Britain to raise funds for our electoral campaign.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 19/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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