President Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday wished the Muslim and Jewish communities well on their Eidul Fitr and Rosh Hashana celebrations.
"The two celebrations are filled with messages of renewal and hope following sacrifice and the remembrance of suffering," Motlanthe said. "Both communities have taught us a capacity to endure hardships without losing faith, hope and optimism."
Motlanthe, who became president on Thursday, said it was one of those important moments of coincidence when two of the great faiths in the world celebrated their holy days almost simultaneously.
Eidul Fitr is a celebration after Muslims have fasted in the month of Ramadan, and Rosh Hashana is the celebration of the Jewish New Year. "I want to commend Muslims and Jews in the country for being an example of coexistence.
"This shows, yet again, what remarkable people South Africans are and how visionary and durable our democracy is."
On the day of Eidul Fitr, Motlanthe assured the Muslim community of the government's commitment to them.
And to the Jewish community, he said: "On the occasion of Rosh Hashana, we are committed to living together in peace and harmony with our Jewish brothers and sisters." - Sapa