Message from Nelson Mandela to Omroep Voor Radio Freedom and the Dutch people on the 10th anniversary of Omroep

December 1992

It gives me considerable pleasure to have this opportunity to address this message to you, as Omroep voor Radio Freedom.

I feel particularly honoured to be the one to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Dutch people in general, for the unrelenting support you have rendered to the A.N.C. and Radio Freedom in particular, during the most difficult period in the history of our struggle against apartheid.

We are today celebrating ten years of co-operation, in which our relationship has grown from strength to strength. Your support has served to emphasise that where ever injustice and human oppression exists, it is not only the business of those who are oppressed, but it is the business of humankind in general.

Today, Radio Freedom, like Radio Orange, its Dutch counterpart during the second world war, has become a household name in Holland.

Both Radios came into existence under singularly difficult circumstances.

It was a time when the forces of oppression had launched an all out offensive against the forces of justice, peace and human dignity.

The spirit of resistance of the Dutch people under threat from fascism was kept alive by Radio Orange.

In South Africa, it became the task of Radio Freedom to mobilise and organise the people against the tyranny of apartheid.

Both radios were an expression of the resilience and indomitable nature of the human spirit when confronted with injustice and inhumanity.

The honourable task of keeping our people informed in the face of disinformation and the conspiracy of silence then prevailing, was made easier by your unstinting support.

Without your steadfast and principled support, it is difficult to imagine how we could have made these giant strides towards freedom and democracy in our country.

Today, apartheid is on the retreat. Yesterdays advocates of separate development are shame facedly admitting that their policies were unworkable.

We are now in the process of routing this obscenity from the face of our country. However, we are not yet victorious.

The criminal and corrupt system of apartheid still retains some capacity to resist the movement for change.

In this respect, we would like to urge our colleagues of Omroep and the dutch people in general, to continue with the invaluable support to Radio Freedom. The political playing field in South Africa, in relation to the media remains uneven. The S.A.B.C. in spite of its protestations to the contrary, remains a tool in the hands of the apartheid government.

Radio Freedom therefore continues to be pivotal to the efforts of the democratic movement to inform and educate the people of South Africa.

It is only through the dissemination of correct and unbiased information that people will be able to make informed decisions about the future of their country.

Through education, our people can hammer out the nature of the democratic order they want and create for themselves a democratic social order that is both enduring and progressive.

We count you among those who will walk with us the last mile to freedom and justice in South Africa.

Thank you.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation