President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo, hailing him for his contribution to the liberation of South Africa. Ramaphosa unveiled a statue of Tambo on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at the same airport which bears his name.
“Oliver Tambo was the architect of our freedom,” Ramaphosa said.
The event coincides with what would have been Tambo’s 103rd birthday.
“It is therefore most fitting that this statue has been erected here at this airport that bears his name, and that is a gateway to the continent and to the world. As they take their first steps on South African soil, visitors to our country will see this magnificent bronze gleaming in the sunlight”
President Cyril Ramaphosa
The president has lauded Tambo for dedicating his life to the people of South Africa and to the achievement of democracy.
“He spent through three decades in exile, working tirelessly to forge international support for the anti-apartheid struggle,” he said.
“To the world, OR Tambo was the voice of South Africa’s liberation movement”
Ramaphosa: Tambo statue is a symbol of our triumph
The president has described the statue as a colossus, just like the man it commemorates.
“It stands as a symbol of our triumph as a nation over injustice thanks to the actions of good, brave and principled men and women like Oliver Tambo,” Ramaphosa further said.
Tambo, one of the founding members of the African National Congress (ANC), was born in Nkantolo, a village in the Eastern Cape. He served as president of what is now the governing party between 1967 and 1991.
Ramaphosa said the project has been long in the making and has congratulated the City of Ekurhuleni for seeing it through.
“Like the statue of President Mandela at the Union Buildings in Tshwane, I have no doubt that this one too will become a tourist attraction. And that it will become an essential stop for visitors to the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, which is doing so much to preserve the legacy of this great man,” he said.
“Allow me to conclude by thanking all who have made this day possible – the architects and the designers, Airports Company South Africa, the national and provincial Departments of Transport, the Gauteng provincial government and, above all, the City of Ekurhuleni”
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