Address by President Nelson Mandela at the State banquet hosted by President Mwinyi of Tanzania

29 May 1995

President Ali Hassan Mwinyi;
Honourable Ministers;
Members of the diplomatic corps
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen

To come to your beautiful country and to be with you tonight is indeed a home-coming.

For many years, freedom fighters from South Africa burrowed in the bosom of your hospitality. We have been raised from the depths of racial oppression, in great measure, on the pedestal of your sacrifice.

It is therefore only fitting, that we should return, free men and women, to report to our Tanzanian brothers and sisters, that South Africa is at last unshackled; the dream of Africa's political liberation has been realised!

This is a message that we bring to this, the former Headquarters of the OAU Liberation Committee; indeed, our second home. And with this message, I once more express regret that I was not able to attend last year's ceremony to mark the winding up of the activities of the OAU Liberation Committee.

And so, our visit here, Mr President, is a reunion of comrades in struggle; a trail-blazer between two like-minded governments to deepen political and economic relations to the benefit of both our nations.

The Government of National Unity is determined to place South Africa firmly within the fellowship of African nations. Even more, we are duty-bound not to forget friends in need and friends indeed; no matter what powerful associations we might today have.

The bond that joins us as peoples is deeper than gratitude. We feel it in the warmth of the magnificent welcome you have given us today, and in our own profound joy at being here.

The democracy which South Africa achieved with your help has allowed us to begin at last to address the legacy of apartheid. However, for our people and for Africa, vigilance and joint efforts to address the challenging socio-economic problems we face, are of utmost importance.

These challenges are common to our region and to the continent as a whole. And, although we boast of new favourable conditions for rapid progress in these matters; we are at the cross-roads between success and long-term marginalisation. In this world of countless uncertainties, we can only succeed if we work together. Among our most urgent challenges in the region, is to nurture the seed of peace that has started to germinate.

Freed from the shadow of apartheid and destabilisation, a new era in our relations has opened. Co-operation between South Africa and Tanzania, within the framework of the SADC, promises the flourishing of a mutually beneficial partnership.

The discussions we are having during these three days should further facilitate the deepening of trade, tourism, mining, defence and other relations. Much progress has already been made in the past year. But we can still do better.

The journey that started many years ago under adverse conditions reaches its culmination in this, our report-back. But this is only one milestone on the long road of ensuring that our nations, who share a common destiny, can thus share in the rebirth of Africa.

Mr President:

Ladies and gentlemen;

Let us raise our glasses and drink to President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, to the people of Tanzania, and to the strengthening of all-round ties between our two countries.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation