Formerly known as ‘Spear of the Nation’ which was Umkhonto we Sizwe which was the armed wing of the African National Congress 1961 (ANC), and to the Afrikaaner nation it was the Day of the Vow, which commemorated the battle of Bloodriver in 1838. By combining these two meanings for the 16th of December, South Africa has one day to celebrate and remember the importance of reconciliation.
Umkhonto we Sizwe was actually co-founded by former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, after the misunderstood protest that turned into a bloody massacre, known as the Sharpeville Massacre of 1961, the public holiday of Human Rights Day is another Day commemorating the lives lost to this peaceful turned violent protest which took 69 South African lives in total. The Day of the Vow which was the day for the Afrikaaner nation, commemorated the battle which consisted of 470 Voortrekkers versus an estimated 15000 – 21000 Zulu people on the banks of the Ncome river. It was an epic battle which saw the Voortrekkers come out victorious despite their dwindling numbers compared to the Zulu enemy.
16th December – Day of Reconciliation
Day of Reconciliation is to remember the Rainbow Nation, to remember forgiveness and most of all acceptance and love of ones neighbour despite historical war or tribulations. South Africa has come a far way in fostering peace between her people and all the diverse cultures that she carries but peace has largely been practiced and continues to be reinstilled in the people of the nation.