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S. Africa Marks Freedom Day with Reception
Hundreds of Guests Invited to Dinner, S. African Arts
By Ted Gim
Staff Reporter
S. Africa's Freedom Day Celebration in Seoul on April 30, 2008

South African Ambassador to Seoul Stefanus J. Schoeman and his wife Mrs. Judith Schoeman celebrated its national day "Freedom Day" by inviting hundreds of both local and foreign personalities for a gala dinner reception at a Seoul hotel on April 30, 2008.

The high-profile guests included South Korea's local politicians, scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul, local businesspeople, and local journalists.

Amb. Schoeman delivered a speech in front of about 400 guests gathered to celebrate the most important holiday for South Africans. He explained about the meaning of Freedom Day and emphasized the bilateral ties between South Korea and South Africa. The South African envoy also thanked each and every of the distinguished guests for attending the ceremony.

A troupe of dancers and musicians were brought from South Africa for the ceremony on the day. The South African art of singing and dancing was a perfect blending between black and white performers and between tradition and modernity.

South African Ambassador to Seoul Stefanus J. Schoeman and his wife Mrs. Judith Schoeman sit at the head table during S. Africa's Freedom Day Celebration in Seoul on April 30, 2008.

Freedom Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on April 27, each year. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first non-racial, democratic elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from every race group was allowed to vote. Previously under the apartheid regime non-whites were not allowed to vote.

In South Africa a variety of events were held throughout the nation on April 27, 2008 in hopes of further promoting non-racism, non-sexism, and unity in diversity in line with the South African Constitution.

South Africa's legislative capital of Cape Town is the site of the official celebrations where President Thabo Mbeki addressed the crowd came to commemorate Freedom Day.

The bilateral relations between South Korea and South Africa have been fast improving since the two nations opened diplomatic ties on Dec. 1, 1992.

In 2004, South Korea was South Africa's 17th largest export destination. Now South Korea stands South Africa's 4th largest trading partner in Asia and South Africa is Korea's largest trading partner in Africa.

For details or inquiries please contact Ms. Lee So-Young of the South African Embassy in Seoul at 792-4855 or Email her at

Related Articles
    “Freedom Day” Marked in Seoul
    South Africa Marks Freedom Day with Reception
    South Africa's 10th Freedom Day Marked
    South Africa Marks 10th Freedom Day

Ted Gim serves as staff reporter of The Seoul Times. He studied tourism management at a S. Korean university. He spent three years in England and Ireland, studying and living there. He studied tourism at a English college for two years. He covers tourism industry as well as diplomatic community in Seoul.






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