Read the unedited text of the State of the Nation as delivered in Parliament by South African President Jacob Zuma on 11 February, 2010
State of the Nation Address By His Excellency JG Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, at the Joint Sitting Of Parliament, Cape Town 11 February 2010
Honourable Speaker; Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces; Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP; Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe; Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa and all esteemed members of the Judiciary; Isithwalandwe President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela; Former President FW de Klerk; Our father, Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia; Former Deputy Presidents; Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces; Chairperson of SALGA and all local government leadership; Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders; Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions; The Governor of the Reserve Bank; Special international Guests especially the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Jean Ping; Former political prisoners and veterans; Members of the diplomatic corps; South African and foreign media; Fellow South Africans,
Dumelang, molweni, goeie naand, good evening, sanibonani nonke emakhaya! Siyavuya ukuba nani ngobubusuku bubaluleke kangaka.
I stand before you this evening, 20 years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela walked out of prison. We have chosen this as the day to call this Joint Sitting of Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation Address, to celebrate a watershed moment that changed our country. The release of Madiba was brought about by the resolute struggles of the South African people. You will recall that the masses of this country, in their different formations, responded with determination to the call to make the country ungovernable and apartheid unworkable.
We are celebrating this day with former political prisoners who we have specially invited to join us. We welcome in particular those who have travelled from abroad to be here, Helene Pastoors, Michael Dingake from Botswana, Mr Andimba Toivo ya Toivo of SWAPO in Namibia. We are pleased to be joined by members of the legal team in the Rivonia Treason trial ? Lord Joel Joffe, who is now based in London and Judge Arthur Chaskalson. We also remember and pay tribute to Mr Harry Schwarz, who sadly passed away last week. He was amongst other things, a member of the Rivonia defence team. We extend our gratitude to our friends and comrades in the international community, for fighting side by side with us to achieve freedom. We extend a special welcome to the Mandela family. They became a symbol of the sacrifices of many who bore the brunt of apartheid. We greet the leadership of the ruling party and Alliance partners, for whom this is an extra special occasion.