The spirit of reconciliation is being embraced at the Freedom Park this morning [16 December] as South Africans from all cultural backgrounds gather to celebrate the Day of Reconciliation.
The day started early this morning with a ritual ceremony at the Isivivane garden at the park. The ceremony was conducted by traditional health practitioners and representatives from faith-based organisations.
Situated on the eastern side of the hill, the Isivivane is symbolic of the resting place for the spirits of those who died in the struggles for humanity and freedom.
During the ritual, incense was burnt with traditional beer and prayers were conducted.
Speaking to BuaNews about the significance of the ritual, traditional health practitioner from GaRankuwa, Maria Tlhako, stressed the importance of not forgetting those who had passed away while fighting for the freedom of the country. She said these people were now our ancestors.
‘We went there to thank and acknowledge the work they’ve done for us and also ask for their guidance and protection as we are in this journey and be able to pass this to our children so that we can also continue where they have left off,’ Tlhako said.
Among the government officials who have already arrived at the event are Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Mayor of Tshwane Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
The highlight of the today’s event will be the official opening of an access road by President Jacob Zuma between the Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park.
Members of the national ceremonial guards, who will be performing a 21 gun salute, are preparing to welcome the President, while traditional dance groups and Afrikaner are entertaining the guests.