It is appropriate that two South African leaders should be here in Philadelphia on Independence Day.   And it is symbolic that we, who are so greatly honoured today, represent two powerful political forces which have decided to break cut of the cycle of conflict and to join hands in a quest for peace and democracy. 
Philadelphia was the birthplace of the great democracy of the USA. Today is the birthday of your nation.  South Africa congratulates the American Nation. 
At this very moment we, in South Africa, are giving birth to a new democracy. 
Far from here in distance – but not in spirit – the representatives of twenty-six South African parties are locked in negotiations on the future of that new nation. 
They are wrestling with the same issues that your founding fathers negotiated and debated for almost eleven years: 
High among these is the question of federalism and the appropriate balance between states and the central government. 
Another is the care that should be taken to devise checks and balances which will prevent misuse of power. 
Yet another is the role which a Bill of Rights should play in protecting individuals and minorities, with a Constitutional Court acting as the watchdog of liberty. 
These are all questions with which the framers of your constitution wrestled. We intend to succeed, as your forefathers did, in bringing forth a constitution and Bill of Rights which can ensure liberty, justice and security for all our people. 
It is significant that during the past week our negotiators have  reached substantial agreement on many of these key issues. 
On this basis we are now poised to move forward to the next step in the process of the birth of our new nation – the preparations for our first national elections in which all South Africans will participate. 
These preparations will include the establishment of a Transitional Executive Council, an Independent Election Commission and an Independent Media Commission.  Their purpose will be to ensure that the coming elections will, indeed, be free and fair. 
It is also fitting that this ceremony should be taking place in the city of Philadelphia:  
This city was founded in the quest for liberty – so that William -Penn and his followers could enjoy their right to one of the most precious liberties freedom of worship. 
We in South Africa wish to expand and protect the freedom of our people in all spheres. We wish to secure for them, free institutions as their birthright – now and deep into the future. 
It is appropriate for us to be here today because the Liberty Bell which 
rung out in Philadelphia over two hundred years ago, has been heard all over the world.  The United States was, and is, an inspiration to democrats, wherever they are. 
We, in South Africa, hope that the process which we have begun in our country will in the same way provide hope and inspiration to the rest of Africa – a continent which is at present struggling to provide greater freedom and prosperity to its people. 
Finally, it is appropriate and fitting that this ceremony should be taking place in Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love. 
This city was founded by William Penn in a spirit of peace and reconciliation. 
We, in South Africa, hunger for this spirit.  We thirst for reconciliation.  After so many decades – indeed, centuries of 
confrontation – we are binding up the wounds.  A new nation is 
being born. We are laying a firm foundation of mutual respect. The great cultural and ethnic variety which characterises our nation, is becoming a source of pride and strength, in stead of a reason for division and enmity. 
We are making peace. We need, in the words of Mr Mandela, to throw our weapons into the sea. We need to take a strong stand against the unreasoned passion, the intransigence and the unyielding prejudice represented by radical elements on the left 
and on the right.   We need to reconcile our differences through reason, debate and compromise. 
All this the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum is achieving slowly but surely. 
President Clinton, ladies and gentlemen, it is in this spirit that I 
accept the Philadelphia Liberty Medal.  I do not do so on my own behalf.  I do so, together with my compatriot, on behalf of all South Africans who have dedicated themselves to the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the problems of our country. 
I also do so on behalf of other eminent leaders of the past and the present not with us today – leaders such as Chief Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi, President Lucas Mangope, Dr Mopeli, the late Cedric Pathudi and the late Hudson Ntsanwisi and many others.   They have steadfastly sought peaceful paths to freedom, liberty and 
And, as Head of State, in all humility, I do so on behalf of all South Africans, my supporters and opponents alike, who hunger for the peace, reconciliation and freedom which are symbolised in this ceremony. 
I thank you all for having made this possible. 
It is accordingly  a great honour for me to accept the Philadelphia Liberty Medal.