Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer Canada's sincere congratulations to South Africa on its third democratic national elections and to President Mbeki's African National Congress, re-elected in a landslide victory.
Canada congratulates the people of South Africa as they mark the 10th anniversary of freedom and democracy's triumph over apartheid rule. This is a historic opportunity to celebrate the end of apartheid and to reflect on the last 10 years.
South Africa faces huge challenges ahead, including poverty and unemployment, high levels of violent crime, and an HIV-AIDS epidemic. However, the ANC has vowed to bring all South Africans a share in the nation's wealth.
Ten years ago many people predicted bloody ethnic violence or autocratic rule in South Africa, but Nelson Mandela's “rainbow nation” has emerged as Africa's most powerful economy and one of its most stable democracies. I express congratulations on behalf of the people of Canada.