President Jacob Zuma, wearing his hat as Commander-in-Chief, of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will Thursday take the salute at a National Reconciliation Day event dubbed “Armed Forces Day” scheduled to take place at the Thaba Tshwane sports grounds in Pretoria.
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu and Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla as well as Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile and other dignitaries will spend a day with the SANDF and military veterans.
The parade will include a National Salute, 21-round Gun Salute, Salute Flight, and Fly Past of Aircraft.
“President Zuma is expected to expand on the recently approved Military Veterans Bill … [that aims] … among other things [at] recognising and honouring veterans and ensuring a seamless transition from active military service to civilian life,” the SANDF says in a statement.
The Day of Reconciliation in 1994 replaced the “Day of the Vow” a previously religious public holiday commemorating a Boer victory over the Zulu, the commemoration of which was cornerstone of Afrikaner nationalism. In 1961 the African National Congress for this reason chose December 16 to initiate a sabotage campaign, signaling its decision to embark on an armed struggle against the regime through its military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.