South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has unveiled inscriptions of the country's constitutional values at Parliament to officially mark the end of the centenary celebrations held in honour of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu in Cape Town.
Speaking to guests and members of the media on Tuesday, Ramaphosa remarked on the symbolic importance of the inscriptions on the steps of the national assembly.
Joined by dignitaries, parliamentarians and representatives of the Sisulu and Mandela families, Ramaphosa said the values "defined the great national endeavour of the last quarter century, inspiring our people, guiding our actions, setting our destination."
He added that the inscriptions were not mere adornments. Instead, they were a constant reminder of the ideals of the democratic and more humane society that South Africa was still in the process of constructing.
He said: "The citizens of this country – and their representatives – who pass through these doors will be reminded of the fundamental principles upon which our society is founded."
He continued that this reminder should serve to inspire reflection on "whether our daily actions advance or betray the cause of freedom and democracy."
Speaking about the significance of the timing of this unveiling, Ramaphosa noted that "the human rights we celebrate on every 21st of March cannot have meaning without the values and principles inscribed on these steps."
He added: “To immortalise Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and many of their generation, we have to etch these values on our collective conscience to push the frontiers of human fulfilment and of human freedoms."