Address by Nelson Mandela at a concert organised by the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement

1 July 1990

Leaders of the Heroic Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement,
Comrades and Friends,
Sisters and Brothers

It is with boundless joy that we are amongst you this evening. We bring you warm and fraternal greetings from the African National Congress. We bring you warm greetings mass democratic movement and indeed our entire embattled people. Our President Comrade Oliver Tambo sends his best regards.

We are more than pleased to be with you, members of our enlarged family. For almost thirty years, the Irish anti-apartheid movement have been a consistent and staunch. Partner of our people in the struggle against the infamous system of apartheid. Your pioneering role has immensely contributed to the international indignation that so many harbour towards apartheid. Thanks to your tireless efforts today, the entire world is united behind our struggle. Thanks to your sterling contribution, the apartheid system cannot survive another day longer.

Our common struggle has reached an advanced and decisive stage. The hour of destiny has dawned. The day is not far when our dream of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa shall be turned into reality. We sue for a democratic order wherein our people will be united in their diversity. Bound together by their common destiny, there will be neither White nor Black, but just South Africans, free and proud. Proud to the members of the human family. Proud to be free at last but free.

To reach there we must stand firm and continue with the struggle. The new situation in our country has compelled new responsibilities upon our movement. We are the agency for democracy and peace. To be able to successfully accomplish this our historic mission, we need both political and material support. To end apartheid, we must keep sanctions and all other forms of pressure in place. To find a just and lasting peace, our movement is in need of funds and other forms of assistance. Our youth are in need of training so that they too could one day be able participants in the reconstruction of their own country. On all these, we are fully convinced that we can continue to rely on your ever ready assistance.

To the artists, singers and entertainers, we extend our warmest thanks. The Irish anti-apartheid movement has been a world leader in the cultural boycott of apartheid; your best writers and creative people have shunned from making money out of apartheid; some of your best sportsmen and women have refused to go to South Africa. We salute these people, as we salute you tonight.

Soon, we shall gather in a free South Africa with our music, our dance, and with our poetry resounding throughout the world with the simple message: Amandla!

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation