Radio Freedom equipment finds a home in Freedom Park
Radio equipment from one of the oldest liberation radio stations in Africa has been handed to the Freedom Park Museum in Tshwane.
Established during apartheid, Radio Freedom provided waves of mass resistance to the regime with broadcasts from different radio stations, including those in Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia and Madagascar.
“Radio Freedom played a major role in defeating apartheid. We must salute the journalist fraternity, the role it can play in society in changing things for the better. It is through Radio Freedom that the armed resistance intensified and South Africans became more aware of what it meant to deal a blow to apartheid,” Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said.
Addressing the handover ceremony on Wednesday, Mthethwa said Radio Freedom has always been a mobilizer and some people would listen to it under their beds.
“As South Africa celebrates 25 years of democracy, we look back and reflect on the difficulty that our country and people experienced for a very long time under colonialism.
“The painful truth is that millions of liberation fighters, people of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the world over sacrificed their lives for the democracy that South Africa enjoys,” the Minister said.
Following a successful engagement between governments of South Africa and Madagascar, Radio Freedom has been repatriated to South Africa.
Mthethwa said the handover ceremony is a historic moment for South Africa and Madagascar because it cements the bond of friendship between the two countries in pursuit of a better Africa and a better world.
“The two countries will soon sign a memorandum of understanding in which collaboration in implementation of projects and programs will be undertaken.
“This is where the people of both countries will ensure the consolidation and strengthening of existing relations through learning from one another and pursing projects in the areas of arts, culture, heritage that will benefit both countries,” the Minister said.
Speaker of the National Assembly and former broadcaster at Radio Freedom, Baleka Mbete, condemned attacks against foreign nationals that have taken place in South Africa.
Mbete said countries on the continent played an important role in assisting South Africa attain its freedom.
“As Tanzania, although they had themselves attained political freedom and were self-governing, they did not feel they had finished their job for as long as countries of Southern Africa were still fighting for their own liberation,” she said.
Madagascar Minister of Communication and Culture, Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy, said her country has supported the project to hand over the equipment to South Africa because they understand the importance of the struggle for freedom.
She said she has learned a lot from that the sacrifices that South Africans made to have their freedom.