eThekwini honours former U.S. ambassador

2016-04-06 06:00

THE City of eThekwini added another feather to its cap when it honoured former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young Jnr. with the Freedom of the City at ceremony held at the city hall of Sunday, 27 March.
Young becomes only the second global icon upon whom this honour is bestowed. Former president, the late Nelson Mandela, was the first recipient.
Hoisted on a rickshaw bus, Young joined hundreds of eThekwini residents during a parade that started from the King Dinuzulu Park, on Berea, to the city hall where proceedings were to take place.
He was accompanied by the eThekwini mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo and Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe. eThekwini awarded Young with the Freedom of the City as recognition of the contribution he made in the liberation movement, his contribution to development, growth and democracy of South Africa.
When he was the mayor of Atlanta in the U.S., Young contributed to those in need in KwaZulu-Natal through donating books, voter education and medical supplies during the early nineties.
Honouring Young, Nxumalo said the occasion was a rare occurrence and a proud moment for the city.
“We recognise your contribution to the freedom and democracy that is enjoyed by many of us today and bestowing the freedom of eThekwini upon you is our gesture that we truly appreciate your contribution to the development and growth of our nation,” he said.
For his role in the struggle for freedom, President Jacob Zuma honoured Young with the highest order of Companion of OR Tambo, which is awarded to eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa.
Young said being given the Freedom of the City of eThekwini was an honour, not only for him but for all of the people of the United State, particularly those who were inspired by the leadership, vision and the courage of the people of South Africa.
“The liberation of the people of South Africa means access to capital, its democracy and freedom and restoring the dignity of South Africans,” he said.
“The people I brought with me are here because of their dedication, they gave up their time and talents to come and finance new jobs and opportunities for youth to study in the U.S. They will come back to lead not only this country but all Africa,” said Young.
Radebe congratulated eThekwini for honouring Young and thanked him for his commitment towards mediation and decolonisation of Zimbabwe and Namibia.
“The bond of friendship that you have garnered for the people of South Africa and the City of Durban will forever be celebrated and appreciated,” said Radebe.
Young led a delegation of over 40 people under the umbrella of Andre J Young Foundation. Among them were doctors, business persons, academics and teachers.
“They are here to share their knowledge and skills and to see where and how they can assist,” said Young.
The ceremony was concluded with the signing of a certificate of the Freedom of the City and a freedom medallion that shows Nelson Mandela standing behind his jail door with a candle in his hand celebrating freedom.
- Supplied.

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