Obamas may get freedom of Cape Town

2012-05-15 09:11

Cape Town - The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, has recommended that US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle receive the freedom of the city, it was reported on Tuesday.

The Cape Times quoted her as saying that the couple exuded leadership, excellence and inclusion, which made them natural candidates for the city's highest accolade.

"For this city, as for the entire world, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are the guiding stars to our eventual destination. In a cynical age, there is a desperate need for universal hope," she was quoted as saying on Monday.

"Symbols that retain their meaning in these times, and ones that embody the qualities to which we aspire, are worthy of the highest recognition."

US embassy spokesperson Brian Denver said it was a great honour for the couple and he would be liaising with the White House.

The proposal to award the freedom of the city would be sent to the city's rules committee for a recommendation to the council.

  • Michael - 2012-05-15 09:18

    Yes, that makes total sense. Obama and his entire @$#%$&^ military has had the freedom of any and all cities they've decided to invade, I mean, "pre-emptively strike" - for peaceful purposes, you understand. Just give the man the freedom of the city before he declares peace on us by pre-emptively taking actions to ensure world peace.

      mlucejko - 2012-05-15 10:19

      I think this is really good !! I only wish our Politicians were of the same Quality !! The only sad part is that we have to look to 'other countries' to find someone worthy of this privilege !!

      Dawood - 2012-05-15 10:21

      handing accolades to mass murderers...ONLY IN CAPE TOWN AND THE US..invite bush,blair,sharon,netanyahu,pearl,wolfowitz,tea partiers,sarkozy,merkel and the rest of the murderers to settle down in CT.

      Mr.J.Crawford - 2012-05-15 10:22

      Give the "freedom of the city" award to Obama. Isn't he the gentleman that campaigned to closed Guantanamo Bay but instead signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law. Surely we can find a better candidate!

      pieter.joubert.9 - 2012-05-15 10:33

      Obama did all this? I think not. In his tenure as president troops are withdrawing from Iraq, plans are in place to get out of Afghanistan and he got rid of Bin Laden. Admittedly, all those war mongering leaders of the US before him did think they could do as they wanted, but to blame all the evils of the US on him is unfair. I think he is a great leader and deserves this honour.

      Rodney - 2012-05-15 10:39

      Maybe you should be asking average Americans what they think of Obama now that he has been president for a few years. I'll bet you won't find many thinking he deserves anything.

      rob4e - 2012-05-15 12:05

      Michael, I somehow think we won't get invaded by the US any time soon, now go take a Valium and make yourself a tinfoil hat while you're at it too.

      marius.dumas - 2012-05-15 16:26

      Obama is a wolf in sheep clothes, he try to control and dominate other countries for power and oil he has done nothing for us than forcing us to make sanctions against Iran to avoid being sanctioned by the US. do we really want too give special treatment for someone who are always bullying other countries to have his way? Obama is as much a symbol of peace as what to torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is a humane rehabilitation program for terrorists which they could find no evidence on. I don’t say be nasty to them, but the buddy-buddy move is unnecessary and controversial. Only a person with no insight to US politics will think of using him as an icon.

  • NrGx - 2012-05-15 09:19

    Excellent move CT!

      Poloyatonki - 2012-05-15 10:13

      Google Obama Deception.

      NrGx - 2012-05-15 10:19

      google ignoramus

  • Marion - 2012-05-15 09:24

    Rules Committee, please make sure that you dot every i and cross every t to ensure you follow procedures when evaluating this.

  • ccpvandam - 2012-05-15 09:27

    Why, what has he done for CT or South Africa? Unless I am mistaken Bush did more for Africa? There are so many other people who have done for SA!

  • Denny - 2012-05-15 09:36

    I think Patricia missed the boat on this one by about 4 years.

  • sne.alex.wong.mdletshe - 2012-05-15 09:38

    first the nobel peace price now this! lovely! and since we're handing out awards for being black, some one sign me up please.

      William - 2012-05-15 09:52

      @Alex: I hereby give you the noddy-badge award!

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-15 09:46

    A fierce wolf in a little lambs clothing.

      NrGx - 2012-05-15 10:39

      Lauden kirk >> the boy who cried wolf!

  • NrGx - 2012-05-15 09:48

    world politics is a game of chess, and as I said above, this is a great move by the city of CT!

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-05-15 09:53

    Oh Puleeze Patricia - can't you find anyone better to award this too? This must be one of the worst US Presidential couple ever. They are two faced, she is a prolific spender of government monies (would fit in well in Africa). Leave that sort of choice to the ANC, and find somone notable and worthwhile!

      Ngaka - 2012-05-15 10:04


      roberta.keeling - 2012-05-15 10:58

      Not necessarily. Why must you bring race into this? I didn't say anything about colour, did I? Make an intelligent comment in future - this sort of stupidity is really not needed.

  • ngonimclean - 2012-05-15 09:59

    Why not give poor people freedom of the city

  • Piet - 2012-05-15 10:12

    The yanks should open their eyes and look what happens in Africa with a Black president in charge... America is on the brink of a major disaster....

      kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-15 10:14

      With his latest speaches that's a given!

      phathuchicos - 2012-05-15 10:17

      aaaaaarg pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

      NrGx - 2012-05-15 10:26

      I agree with Azanian - Ag please. Obama has done more for the US than the previous 2 presidents combined. Have you forgotten he stepped in while in the midst of terrorist warfare and economic disaster. Since he has taken office, troops have come home (De-sensitised terrorist attacks - ie not a warmonger like Bush), economy has strengthened, percentage of unemployment has dropped. Obama should not be seen as you PERCEIVE the US, but as a role model of what can be done.

      Denny - 2012-05-15 10:55

      @NrGx - Obama inherited a bad situation. I would be very reluctant to say the economy has strengthened under him though. You claim the percentage of unemployment has dropped - it hasn't ( 7.8% when he took office vs 8.1% now. Even this doesn't give the whole picture - have a look at the labour participation ratio ( This has dropped by 2%! If this hadn't dropped then the unemployment rate would have been even worse. I acknowledge that under his government the trend has reversed. The cost of this reversal just cannot hold up to the extent of the "improvement". The US debt is now greater than 100% of GDP. This is a very precarious position to be in. The US government cannot afford to sustain the jobs it has created by forcing the country into (even more) debt. What happens when the creditors come calling?

      Denny - 2012-05-15 11:02

      @Pieter - Who cares what colour his skin is? I'd rather have a fiscally conservative pink-and-green manbearpig than a lilly white male Keynesian/Socialist.

      NrGx - 2012-05-15 11:06

      @DennyCray - point taken, my error regarding the the employment stats. However my point remains, considering the financial climate worldwide, he has not done a terrible job. But I do agree, at what cost? Perhaps the end justifies the means, we just dont know...yet! But more to the point, my comments are not based on the "man" or the political spectrum in the US, but of the opinion that SA can utilize world politics to uplift SA, and CT clearly sees an opportunity to market the city.

      Denny - 2012-05-15 11:54

      @NrGx - If it results in benefits to us, I don't have an issue with it - and perhaps it will. I do however believe that his halo has lost a lot of its gleam since the early days of his presidency.

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-05-15 10:21

    and we still remain refugees

  • Msika - 2012-05-15 10:21

    what has gone into this old woman's small brain. Imagine if she was in charge of the whole country.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-15 10:21

    The Obama's are good candidates, they have visited our shores more than any other USA leadership and unlike their predecessors have actually done the USA a great service by aiding the cleanup of America's global image. Which the Bush dynasty destroyed.(Mostly due to self serving stupidity) Barrack Obama winning a second term will give the Obama administration more opportunity to correct the mess that the Bush Republicans have led the USA into. All Obama has had the opportunity to do during his first term is massive damage control, due to the absolute mess the Bush Administration caused. Something he inherited from the self serving republicans, who idiotically dumbed down the majority of American's to such a degree they managed to steel the cash out of pockets of their future great, great, great grandchildren. The Obama's are steering the USA into a new future, with modern vision, which will have great impact on the world, Cape Town will do well to give them the Key to the City. It is a good gesture. One which costs us much less than a football stadium but will provide us with just as much, if not more good international public relations. Cape town once again in the spotlight, in the second largest economy in the is all good.

      Denny - 2012-05-15 12:53

      "who idiotically dumbed down the majority of American's to such a degree ..." It is quite possible he did. Under Bush the size of the Education department grew enormously. Increased government involvement resulting in worsening conditions. Bush started with Keynesian-like policies after the IT bubble burst. Obama is continuing along the same road. " they managed to steel (sic) the cash out of pockets of their future great, great, great grandchildren." I agree (the only thing I'd dispute is the timing - it could be sooner then great/great/great). Sadly, Obama is doing exactly the same thing which is why the Federal Debt ceiling will have to be raised *again*.

  • grantdutoit - 2012-05-15 10:26

    I wouldn't want the US to have any claim or link to SA in any way until they can lead by example. The US has amongst the largest programs they seek other countries to stop but won't stop themselves. They aim to place sanctions on countries such as SA without putting in place anything that would make the transition possible. They only care for themselves. In the old days people got given the keys to a city because they did something very honorable for that city. My father worked for the SAAF for many years and earned himself a few city keys for his role in the well being of those cities. What we should all ask is simple, what has the US or the Obama family done that is so significant that they should freedom of our city? The next question is, what strings are attached, what privileges do they get and does this extend in any way to those who have done nothing for it? At what cost do we as Cape Townians have to pay? With the US there is normally always strings attached. Nothing for free with them. I'll make a suggestion. Out of the Oboma's personal pocket and proven to be so, provide SA with what is required to migrate from our current refineries to those that can handle the new fuels the US is forcing us to take on through their sanctions upcoming. Once you have those in place and are saving us the extra cost of living due to a battle we have nothing to do with. At least this way the US can carry the cost of rising fuel costs in SA because of their choice.

  • revaro.winkler - 2012-05-15 10:27

    thats what you call swagger just dump and proud of it why didnt you give it to zuma what did obama do to cape town or south africa or africa seems to me cape town wants to start their own country you want to strengten the relations whit the us this is not the way

  • revaro.winkler - 2012-05-15 10:31

    she worys about the american president why not clean up mitchels plain atlantis kayalitsa etc...... create jobs fight drugs violence gangstarism tell him to donate some funds for this

  • Dakey - 2012-05-15 10:33

    Purely Politics and precisely why I don't even vote DA. Everyone in my household has a go at me for voting ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) instead of DA, but I came to the conclusion long ago that the DA is just another political party and I'd rather die knowing I voted for the party I believed in and not the lesser of two evils. Is this the same president that recently told Medvedev: ( 'This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility' Yep, give this 'guiding star' the freedom of CT, he's an example to us all right?

  • phathuchicos - 2012-05-15 10:45

    Seriously...I thought when DA inducted ID as an empowerment party inorder to boost its BEE i thought LIlly would consider enrolling for brain empowerment too...

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2012-05-15 10:48

    May get???? are you crazy. Give him the freedom. That man is an Icon, second only to Madiba

      sne.alex.wong.mdletshe - 2012-05-15 11:24

      in what alternate universe??

      Kirsten - 2012-05-15 14:49

      you're right- they both plotted to kill people at one or other time

  • martin.vandermerwe - 2012-05-15 12:03


  • Sattva - 2012-05-15 14:36

    I do not agree !

  • Artur - 2012-05-15 16:06

    Obama has done nothing for South Africa. He has told the world including South Africa not to buy oil from Iran. As a result the petrol price went up world wide. The american police shoots innocent black people and Obama says nothing. Obama is sending money and weapons to Israel so they can kill and take the land away from the Palestinians. What is wrong with Patricia de Lille ?

  • EyesEars - 2012-05-18 08:14

    The political leaders (if you can call them that), were either "mutied" with some or other drug or have lost it completely. Time to step out de lille, you've lots it just like the rest of the lot.

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