Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oliver Tambo, the Former Acting President of the ANC, Honoured in North London


Tambo honoured in north London

Thu, 18 Oct 2007

The wife of South African President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday unveiled a new statue to anti-apartheid leader Oliver Tambo in the north London suburb where he was exiled for 30 years.

Zanele Mbeki joined Britain's Justice Secretary Jack Straw and other dignitaries to take the wraps off the bust in a park in Muswell Hill, near where Tambo lived from 1960 to 1990.

A plaque was unveiled outside his former home.

The bust was sculpted by the late Ian Walter, who also created the bronze statue of former South African president Nelson Mandela, Tambo's fellow African National Congress activist, that now stands opposite Britain's parliament.

Tambo died in 1993. But Straw said his legacy was not just in the memorial or paving the way for a "prosperous and free South Africa".

"His legacy will be in the hope he has offered to many across the world who struggle against oppressive dictatorships," he said. "And the conviction that the sacrifice of a few can bring about a great change for the many."

In a tribute released by his office, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tambo's vision of a democratic and non-racial South Africa was an inspiration to millions of people across the world.

And Mandela said in a statement that his "closest friend and comrade" during the struggle was also a "resolute leader" during the country's most difficult years.

"It is especially appropriate that this memorial is in Haringey (borough) as it was this community which welcomed into its midst during their time in exile, not only Oliver, (his wife) Adelaide and the Tambo children, but many others who are today remembered as equally heroic veterans of our struggle.

"We hope that this memorial will serve to inspire future generations of young people to embrace the ideals that Oliver Tambo dedicated his life to."

Haringey has other links with Tambo: one local school is twinned with another in Wattville, the South African township where Tambo lived.


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