Today in history: Oliver Tambo dies after a long illness

By Drum Digital
23 April 2015

In April 1993 former President of the African National Congress (ANC),Oliver “OR” Tambo died in Johannesburg after a long battle with illness.

 24 April, 1993

His death came 14 days after the assassination of the South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary-general, Chris Hani. Tambo had served as the ANC President from 1969 until 1991. He was succeeded by Nelson Mandela (who would become South Africa’s first black President) at the ANC conference held in Durban. “O R” as he was popularly known by his peers played an essential role in holding the ANC together locally and in exile when the organisation was banned.

Tambo dedicated all his life to the struggle for liberation.  Unfortunately he did not live long enough to be part of a democratic, non-racial South Africa which became reality nearly a year after his death in April 1994.


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