Zuma receives Makhado Bravery award

By Drum Digital
08 August 2013

President Jacob Zuma received the Makhado Bravery Award from king Khosikhulu Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, of the Royal Vhavenda people, in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, on Thursday.

Zuma said he was humbled to accept the award and paid tribute to the contribution of traditional leaders in the struggle against colonial oppression and apartheid.

"At times, those leaders who were seen not toeing the line lost their kingship and chieftaincy," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the University of Venda Stadium.

"However, those who remained true to the cause of the people's struggle continued fighting against the system oppression, despite the heavy penalty of exile, imprisonment, or even death."

South Africa's government now respected the role of traditional leaders, giving them representation in Parliament and in the provincial legislatures.

Zuma said he considered the award both a personal honour and a token of recognition of the struggle against oppression.

"More specifically, I take it as recognition and appreciation of the successes achieved by the people of South Africa, led by the African National Congress."

As South Africa approached its 20th year of democracy, government had adopted the National Development Plan to eradicate poverty by 2030.

"We resist the temptation of indulging in self-congratulatory euphoria when it comes to our successes, but rather remain haunted by what still remains to be done.

"The battle will not be won overnight, but I am certain that we are on the right track," Zuma said.

-Sapa

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