FLTR - former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Vice President, H.E. Nicky Iyambo, South African Minister of Communications, Hon. Ayanda Dlodlo and High Commissioner of South Africa to Namibia, H.E. Mavivi Myakayaka Manzini during a panel discussion that looked at the life of late South African struggle icon, Oliver Tambo
|Story by George Sanzila
Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi has described late South African struggle stalwart, Oliver Tambo as a selfless giant of the African revolution who contributed immensely to the liberation of the African continent.
Speaker Katjavivi paid tribute to Tambo while moderating a panel discussion that looked at the life of this towering figure of the South African liberation struggle. The event that also marked the South African heritage day, commemorated the centenary of Tambo’s birth. Born in 1917, Tambo would have been 100 years old this year.
Katjavivi, who had also earlier eulogized the fallen hero in Parliament prior to the panel discussions noted that Tambo, apart from being a pan Africanist, was a proactive and tactical leader whose influence in the African National Congress (ANC) changed the course of the struggle. “He was a key proponent of a more proactive approach to the struggle against apartheid, which saw the ANC move away from non-violent protests and engage in armed struggle, targeting strategic sites. Tambo played an outstanding role in the liberation of the African continent.” noted Katjavivi.
Among his many selfless gestures, many Speakers recalled, was when he flew in Namibia at the invitation of Namibian freedom fighters to seek justice for innocent Namibians that were massacred in 1959 during an uprising against their forced removal from what was known as old location, modern day Hockland Park to Katutura. Tambo was a qualified lawyer and pledged to offer his services for free. However he was barred from entry into the country by the apartheid authorities.
Katjavivi’s own personal encounter with Tambo was in 1962 when he arrived in exile in Dar-Es-Saalam, Tanzania. South African Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo noted that South Africa and Namibia shared a common history and further implored the two countries to uphold the ideals of peace and freedom and Africanism and its cultures that Tambo stood for.
Dlodlo further cautioned against corruption noting that it was derailing efforts to transform the African continent. “Why should there be corruption to the scale it is? Why do we call each other liberators, if we keep snatching the little we have”, Dlodlo asked rhetorically.
Vice President, Nicky Iyambo noted at the event that Namibia’s recognised Tambo’s selflessness and his commitment to Africa’s self-determination in 2010 through a posthumous award.
Other Speakers at the event that extolled the fallen icon included former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, High Commissioner of South Africa to Namibia, H.E. Mavivi Myakayaka Manzini and High Commissioner of South Africa to Zambia, H.E. Sikose Miji.
Oliver Tambo died in 1993 aged 75, after suffering a stroke.