The people of South Africa, particularly the youth of our country, are renowned for their fearless challenge to the full might of Pretoria`s tyranny. In spite of fierce repression under the state of emergency, torture, detention and rule by the gun, our people remain determined to be free. The MK cadres crushed to death by a Casspir flattening their shack when they refuse to surrender; the hundreds on hunger strikes inside apartheid`s jails refusing to submit; the hundreds of thousands of workers who fight for a living wage, for women`s rights, for the release of political prisoners and detainees, including our children; the millions who flaunt the black, green and gold colours of their organisation, the African National Congress, at grave risk to themselves - all keep alive the flame of freedom.
And one person has come to embody the aspirations of all the South African people - Nelson Mandela. Imprisoned for over a quarter of a century, Mandela will celebrate his 70th birthday on July 18th, 1988. Let us ensure that the whole world celebrates this important day with him. His life symbolises our people`s burning desire for freedom; his imprisonment is the imprisonment of the whole South African nation; the fight for his unconditional release, and that of all political prisoners and detainees, is the glorious fight against injustice, racial bigotry, and man`s inhumanity to man.
So many of you honoured me on my 70th birthday. I ask that you and all our friends, on as wide a scale as possible, observe the 70th birthday of that outstanding son of Africa, Nelson Mandela, on 18th July 1988.
Let the apartheid regime know the high esteem in which this great South African patriot is held. Celebrate July 18th, 1988, in a manner befitting a man whose "three score years and ten" represents all that is true and noble in humankind.