Ramaphosa said these soldiers paid the “ultimate price” to defend freedom‚ peace and justice.
“It is a day that reminds us that blood was spilled by countless South Africans and freedom fighters to guarantee us our freedom and human rights‚” Ramaphosa said.
“It is a reminder that brave men and women continue to put their lives on the line to secure our hard-won freedoms and defend our Constitution.”
Ramaphosa praised former President Nelson Mandela for leaving a “coherent” SANDF to protect South Africa.
“He (Mandela) left us a National Defence Force that is a true microcosm of our diverse society‚” Ramaphosa said.
“A truly national defence force for all South Africans that guarantees that its tanks and guns will never again roll into townships and suburbs to fight against the very same people it was established to protect.”