Here is the video clip from Mandela's
Inaugural Address. See below for the transcript.
It follows the full text transcript of
Nelson Mandela's Oath of Office and his
Inaugural Address, delivered at
Union Buildings in Johannesburg, South Africa - May 10, 1994.
Oath of Office
In the presence of
those assembled here and in full realization of
the high calling I assume as Executive President
in the service of the Republic of South Africa
I, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, do hereby swear to
be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and
do solemnly and sincerely promise at all times
to promote that which will advance and to oppose
all that may harm the Republic; to obey,
observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution
and all other Laws of the Republic; to discharge
my duties with all my strength and talents to
the best of my knowledge and ability and true to
the dictates of my conscience; to do justice to
all; and to devote myself to the well-being of
the Republic and all its people.
So help me God.
Your Royal Highnesses,
Comrades and Friends,
Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and
by our celebrations in other parts of our
country and the world, confer glory and hope to
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. Our daily
deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an
actual South African reality that will reinforce
humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its
confidence in the nobility of the human soul and
sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for
All this we owe both to ourselves and to the
peoples of the world who are so well represented
To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in
saying that each one of us is as intimately
attached to the soil of this beautiful country
as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria
and the mimosa trees of the bushveld.
Each time one of us touches the soil of this
land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The
national mood changes as the seasons change. We
are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration
when the grass turns green and the flowers
That spiritual and physical oneness we all share
with this common homeland explains the depth of
the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw
our country tear itself apart in a terrible
conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and
isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely
because it has become the universal base of the
pernicious ideology and practice of racism and
We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled
that humanity has taken us back into its bosom,
that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have
today been given the rare privilege to be host
to the nations of the world on our own soil.
We thank all our distinguished international
guests for having come to take possession with
the people of our country of what is, after all,
a common victory for justice, for peace, for
human dignity. We trust that you will continue
to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of
building peace, prosperity, non-sexism,
non-racialism and democracy.
We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of
our people and their political mass democratic,
religious, women, youth, business, traditional
and other leaders have played to bring about
this conclusion. Not least among them is my
Second Deputy President, the Honorable F.W. de
We would also like to pay tribute to our
security forces, in all their ranks, for the
distinguished role they have played in securing
our first democratic elections and the
transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty
forces which still refuse to see the light.
The time for the healing of the wounds has come.
The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us
has come. The time to build is upon us.
We have, at last, achieved our political
emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate
all our people from the continuing bondage of
poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and
other discrimination. We succeeded to take our
last steps to freedom in conditions of relative
peace. We commit ourselves to the construction
of a complete, just and lasting peace.
We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope
in the breasts of the millions of our people. We
enter into a covenant that we shall build the
society in which all South Africans, both black
and white, will be able to walk tall, without
any fear in their hearts, assured of their
inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow
nation at peace with itself and the world.
As a token of its commitment to the renewal of
our country, the new Interim Government of
National Unity will, as a matter of urgency,
address the issue of amnesty for various
categories of our people who are currently
serving terms of imprisonment.
We dedicate this day to all the heroes and
heroines in this country and the rest of the
world who sacrificed in many ways and
surrendered their lives so that we could be
free. Their dreams have become reality. Freedom
is their reward.
We are both humbled and elevated by the honor
and privilege that you, the people of South
Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first
President of a united, democratic, non-racial
and non-sexist government. We understand that
there is no easy road to freedom. We know it
well that none of us acting alone can achieve
success. We must therefore act together as a
united people, for national reconciliation, for
nation building, for the birth of a new world.
Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace
for all. Let there be work, bread, water and
salt for all. Let each know that for each the
body, the mind and the soul have been freed to
Never, never and never again shall it be that
this beautiful land will again experience the
oppression of one by another and suffer the
indignity of being the skunk of the world.
The sun shall never set on so
glorious a human achievement! Let freedom reign.