Freedom Park will for all time be a tribute to and symbol of the constant quest for the total liberation of body, mind and soul with a freedom as infinite as time and space: Thabo Mbeki, as president of South Africa, gives his blessing to the park, 26 June 2008.
Freedom Park is a place of pilgrimage and healing and human communion, which sets it apart from – while it seeks to end – the divides that scar and fracture national and global human society.
Freedom Park will give all who visit her the possibility to understand the origins of Earth and life, to position themselves as sojourners in a natural and human journey of countless millennia, and to commune in reverence with the ancestors and the gods, both of which are as native and as various as each who will visit the park.
In the quiet voice of Freedom Park, all – with no regard to race and nationality – will find the instinctive peace internal to every human being, which affirms to each, his and her humanity.
Freedom Park, necessarily, will confirm the imperative communicated by Nelson Mandela as our freedom dawned – out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.
Freedom Park, necessarily, will confirm the imperative communicated by Nelson Mandela as our freedom dawned – let each know that, for each, the body, the mind, and the soul have been freed to fulfil themselves.
Through all time, humanity has striven to understand and control nature, as well as build a harmonious human village.
Through all time, the natural order of things has dictated that for any person to live as a human being demands co-operation and solidarity with all other human beings – motho ke motho ka batho.
Human history is thus a succession of epochs of endeavour to free humanity from the constraints of nature, from socio-economic backwardness, from political oppression, and from social exclusion. Freedom Park is a monumental tribute to freedom thus defined. For all time, it will live on as a representative of:
- Human freedom from the blind dictates of the forces of nature;
- Freedom from ignorance and superstition;
- Freedom born of knowledge that gives birth to technological revolutions;
- Freedom occasioned by socio-economic advancement;
- Freedom from political oppression; and,
- Freedom from the alienation of human beings, one from the other.
Therefore, it will live on as a combination of freedoms which will ensure that the human body, the human mind and the human soul are emancipated fully to fulfil themselves.
Freedom Park celebrates the evolutionary processes that have led to the natural advance from the hominid to the human, the achievement of the maturity of the human species, and the assumption of its position at the apex of all animal life, cognisant of its responsibility to respect and protect nature and the environment, and honour the imperative to act within the context of sustainable development.
Freedom Park celebrates natural and human achievements in their totality, each an integral part of the other, together constituting one integrated whole. Freedom Park gives all of us, black and white South Africans, Africans everywhere, and all humanity, the possibility proudly to recite with the poet, Keorapetse Kgositsile:
"And at the door of the eye
is still the voice of the land,
my father before my father
knew the uses of fire,
my father before my father
with his multiple godhead,
sat on his circular stool after the day was done,
at times even between the redness of two suns,
knowing that time was not born yesterday."
Freedom, too, like time itself, was not born yesterday.
Freedom Park will live for all time as a monumental tribute to and symbol of the unending human quest for the all-round liberation which will bless the human body, the human mind and the human soul with freedom as infinite as time and space.
- From President Thabo Mbeki, on behalf of the government of South Africa, 26 June 2008
- Gallery: View the iconic Freedom Park through the camera lens of former president Thabo Mbeki