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Thursday, June 3, 1999 Published at 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK

Thabo Mbeki's victory speech

Thabo Mbeki: Democracy is alive and well in South Africa

The following are extracts from a victory speech given by ANC leader Thabo Mbeki from Kempton Park, broadcast live by South African TV:

Viva, ANC, Viva!

The people have spoken. The people have said unequivocally: The ANC leads!

South African Elections
In their millions, and without equivocation, without hesitation, the people of South Africa have renewed the mandate of the ANC to govern our country.

The poorest of the poor have said they trust the ANC to help them out of their condition of misery.

The women of our country have mandated the ANC to continue with the struggle for their upliftment and their emancipation.

Our people, both black and white, have mandated us to remain firm in the pursuit of our vision of a non-racial South Africa, and the important goal of national reconciliation.

The overwhelming mandate gives us a people's directive for us to use the power they have given us to defend and entrench the democratic system and the human rights contained in our constitution and in our laws.

In a very clear voice the people have said that democracy is alive and well in South Africa.

'Move forward faster'

The people have directed us to move forward faster with our programme of reconstruction and development, so that the goal of a better life for all is achieved sooner rather than later.

The masses of our people have mandated us to maintain the peace and stability which democracy and good governance has brought to our country.

[ image: Thabo Mbeki:
Thabo Mbeki: "And now it's back to work"
They have directed us radically to improve the safety and security of all our people - in the urban and the rural areas, on the farms, and at home among our women and children.

The people have directed that we should continue with our economic policies, ensuring that together with the private sector the economy grows at higher rates, that it creates new jobs, ensuring that it continues to develop into a modern and internationally competitive economy.

The people have given clear orders that we move forward faster, to build a non-racial and non-sexist society.

The people of our country have given an unequivocal directive that we must work together for the African renaissance, for the emergence of the 21st Century as the African century.

On behalf of the ANC, I pledge to the people of our country, our continent, and the world that we will remain loyal to the directives the people have given. And I give a pledge that will ensure that their will is done.

Greatly humbled

We are greatly humbled by the trust, the confidence, and the love which he people of our country, both black and white, have shown in and for the ANC.

We are deeply moved by the determination of the people to cast their votes, their willingness to wait in long queues hungry, cold, and tired, deep into the night to exercise their democratic right, to ensure that they voted for the party of their choice.

We are fully conscious of the fact that the magnificent patience of our people was in part driven by their knowledge that, consistent with its traditions, the ANC would approach the exercise of power without any arrogance, with humility, with a deep sense of responsibility to ensure that as a people we act together to build a South Africa which truly belongs to all who live in it, both black and white.

Thanks and back to work

I would like to extend our profound thanks to all our people, for the historic contribution they made during this election, further to entrench democracy and political tolerance in our country.

I would like to thank all the parties that participated in the elections for the largely responsible manner in which they conducted themselves during the election campaign.

We congratulate all of them for the successes they have achieved, hoping that they will themselves contribute to the common national effort for the reconstruction and development of our country ...

As president of our organisation, the African National Congress, I salute the thousands of our leaders and activists, including Nelson Mandela - I salute the thousands of our leaders and activists, the leaders and activists of Cosatu [Congress of South African Trade Unions] the SACP [South African Communist Party], Sanco [South African National Civics Organisations], and the rest of our democratic movement for the great campaign they waged to ensure that we score the historic victory that we have scored.

The masses of our people have renewed our mandate to govern. The people have spoken.

The ANC will respond as it must for democracy, for peace, for progress, for prosperity, for non-racialism and non-sexism, and for the rebirth of our continent.

We have now arrived at the moment where we go back to work. Thank you very much.

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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