Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zuma Follows President Mugabe's Footsteps

Zuma follows President Mugabe’s footsteps

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 00:00

JOHANNESBURG. — President Jacob Zuma has followed in the footsteps of his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Mugabe, in being awarded the King Hintsa Bravery Award. President Zuma, flanked by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, landed in a military helicopter and was welcomed by AmaXhosa king Mpedulo Sigcawu, who conferred the award to him.

The president’s supporters, who braved the chilly weather in Willowvale near Dutywa, Eastern Cape, packed an 11-pole-marquee in Nqadu Great Place.

Xhosa Royal Council spokesperson to the king, Prince Xhanti Sigcawu, who was there to welcome President Zuma, said the president was a worthy candidate to receive the award.

The awards, named after the great AmaXhosa King Hintsa who died in 1835, started in 1999.

Last year, it was received by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Other past recipients include Robort Sobukwe, Steve Biko and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Prince Xhanti said President Zuma was chosen because he lived up to the ideals of the late Xhosa king: fighting for human rights and the emancipation of black people.

“When you look at President Zuma, you can see that he represents what King Hintsa fought for. After Hintsa died, it was people like Zuma and others who continued with the struggle and ensured the liberation of our people. That is why he is a recipient of this award today,” Prince Xhanti said.

In his acceptance speech President Zuma thanked His Majesty for the honour, which he said he shall cherish for as long as he lives.

“Legend has it that King Hintsa fought on and refused to surrender even when faced by the clear possibility of death.

“He refused to negotiate peace with the enemy from a prison wall as he was asked to order his kinsmen and kindred to stop the resistance. He refused to be the guide towards the betrayal of his people and vowed that he’d rather die than hand over his people and their wealth to the colonial powers on a platter.

“For that, the cowardly and sadist Harry Smith, later honoured in Britain for his dastardly and heinous crimes against humanity, ordered the cold-blooded murder of King Hintsa by shooting him from the back . . .

“The Great King Hintsa is renowned for his ability to unite his people, and to marshal them in the fight against internecine wars and later colonial invasion by the British settlers.

“Sixty seven years after the death of King Hintsa, many kinsmen from this kingdom were part of the formation and the launch of the Parliament of the people, the African National Congress in Mangaung in 1912. The African National Congress emerged as a very strong organisation of the oppressed people in the Cape Province, and particularly in this area.

“To this day the ANC remains a conqueror in the battle of ideas. The ANC continues to register victory after another in the electoral battles that are the new pillar of struggle having replaced the armed rebellion and war as a path to power. Thus we are encouraged by this temerity and determination by our people in this part of the country who have placed their trust through repeatedly voting for the ANC.

“This they do consciously as they want to achieve deeper political emancipation and social progress, which they know is only possible through the ANC. They know that it is only the ANC that has the capacity to deliver as a vehicle and a tool in their hands for liberation.”

ANC supporters wearing Zuma T-shirts ululated as the ANC president made his way to the great place accompanied by a huge contingent of bodyguards.

— City Press/

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