O.R. Tambo honoured

2016-04-13 06:00
DALI TAMBO, son of the late ANC president and chairman, addresses scores of people during the renaming of Oliver Tambo Road (formerly Church Street) in Bloemfontein on Friday (08/04).  Photo: Teboho Setena

DALI TAMBO, son of the late ANC president and chairman, addresses scores of people during the renaming of Oliver Tambo Road (formerly Church Street) in Bloemfontein on Friday (08/04). Photo: Teboho Setena

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THE conquering spirit of Oliver Reginald Tambo, ANC president from 1967 to 1991, is being relived in the Mangaung city of Bloemfontein through celebratory events.

These events celebrate his live and time, and honour his contribution in the liberation of the oppressed and South Africa as a country.

Acknowledgement to Tambo also came with the Mangaung Metro renaming the former Church Street to Oliver Tambo Road.

The renaming of the street was officially unveiled on Friday (08/04), with Dali Tambo accepting the gesture on behalf of his late father.

A lawyer by profession, Tambo snr died on 27 April 1993 after a long illness, coupled with a stroke. His death meant he could not vote the following year, on 27 April, during South Africa’s first democratic election.

Another acknowledgement reliving his spirit was the staging of the O.R. Tambo Marathon on Saturday (16/04) in the Mangaung City of Bloemfontein.

The sporting event is an initiative of the Free State Department of Sport and Recreation, honouring the erstwhile respected leader of the ANC.

In his acceptance speech, Tambo jnr said the recognition was emotional as it brought memories of sufferings during the era of apartheid.

He said the gesture by the Mangaung Metro’s council to honour his late father was heart-warming.

“My father would have been somewhat reluctant to accept the gesture of having Church Street renamed in his honour.

“He was a devoted church member, a believer and a Christian. I found it to be a coincidence having Church Street renamed in honour of my father. I’m grateful seeing my father being recognised for his contribution in the fight for freedom and liberation of South Africa. Maybe a statue of him would give even more significance.

“Honouring our heroes is our heritage and I wish the same could happen to his comrades who fought with him for the liberation of South Africa,” said Tambo jnr.

Tambo snr emphasised the significance of education in the emancipation of South Africa and achieving economic freedom.

“My father never stopped emphasising the importance of education as the best weapon in life and the fight for freedom,” said Tambo.

The Free State MEC for Cooperative Governance, Olly Mlamleli, said renaming Church Street was a fitting honour to the late OR Tambo. “I’m proud to tell someone that I’m driving in O.R. Tambo Road in Mangaung,” said Mlamleli.

She said the gesture was fitting since the formation of the ANC took place in the Mangaung city of Bloemfontein.

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