Radio equipment from one of the oldest liberation radio stations in Africa based in Madagascar has been handed over to the Freedom Park Museum in Pretoria for public viewing.
Addressing the handing over ceremony on Thursday, 25 April 2019, in Pretoria, South African Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Radio Freedom stations based in African states were mobilisers of freedom fighters during South Africa’s struggle for freedom.
Established during apartheid, Radio Freedom stations provided waves of mass resistance to the apartheid regime with broadcasts from different radio stations, including those in Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia and Madagascar, bombarding the defunct white regime with political messages to free the country’s people.
“Radio Freedom played a major role in defeating apartheid. We must salute the journalist fraternity, and the role they played in society in changing things for the better,” Mthethwa said.
He added that “As South Africans celebrate 25 years of democracy, we 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 today.”
A former broadcaster at Radio Freedom, and now Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, condemned recent xenophobic attacks in her country against foreign nationals, saying that Africans outside South Africa “played an important role in assisting us to attain freedom.”
Madagascar’s Communication and Culture Minister Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy said her country supported the project to hand over the equipment to South Africa because it understood the importance of the struggle for freedom.