Mama Dube overjoyed that King’s House to be named for ANC’s founding father

2012-02-10 00:00

SURPRISED and very excited.

That is how mama Lulu Dube (80), the only surviving daughter of the ANC’s founding president, Dr John Langalibalele Dube, reacted to the news that her late father would be honoured by having King’s House, the presidential residence in Durban, renamed after him.

President Jacob Zuma made the announcement during his state of the nation address (Sona) in Cape Town last night, saying the gesture was aimed at promoting social cohesion.

The renaming coincides with the ANC’s centenary celebrations, during which the party is honouring its 12 presidents.

Zuma also announced that a statue of Dube would be unveiled at the Dube Tradeport next to the King Shaka International Airport.

Speaking to The Witness last night, Dube said she was ecstatic when she heard about the honours while watching Zuma’s address on TV.

“I am so grateful that at last the role played by my father is finally being recognised, although it has taken our government quite a long time to recognise it.

“Now our youth will know those who contributed towards the liberation of our country. This recognises the significance of the role played by my father … I am so happy that I am still alive to witness it. We thank the president for the announcement.”

Dube’s family were invited to the opening of Parliament last night, but she could not attend due to ill-health. The family were represented by the founding president’s grandson, Langa Dube.

Ndabezinhle Sibiya, spokesperson for the office of KZN Premier, confirmed Dube’s statue would be erected at the Dube Tradeport.

Zuma announced that the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria would be named after Sefako Makgatho, who took over the ANC presidency after Dube. Former president Nelson Mandela named his first son after Makgatho, according to Wikipedia.

The Diplomatic Guest House in Pretoria would be named after ANC diplomat Johnny Makatini whose remains were reburied in Pietermaritzburg in 2010.

Among the museums and centres that will be unveiled are the Ncome Museum in Nquthu, near Dundee, phase two of the Freedom Park museum and the Steve Biko Heritage Centre in Ginsberg, King William’s Town.

The homes and graves of former ANC presidents and other national heroes will also be prioritised for declaration as heritage sites.

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