ANC veteran and Rivonia trialist Denis Goldberg was awarded the party's highest honour this week.Deputy President David Mabuza praised Goldberg, who he called a member of a golden generation and a legend, as he presented him with the ANC's highest award, Isithwalandwe, in Goldberg's Hout Bay home on Wednesday.Mabuza accepted the award on Goldberg's behalf at the launch of the ANC's manifesto earlier this month."This award is a very special award. We're very happy about this man. This man stands for what the ANC was," Mabuza said according to a party statement."I'm not very sure today whether he is happy about the ANC because we might have gone astray many a time along the way. The ANC of their time was the greatest movement. We're trying by all means to emulate them and I'm sure one day we'll make it. But we are not going to fail you. We'll try our best to work for the people, especially the downtrodden, the poor of our country."Goldberg said that the award was not only his but his late wife Esme's, as well as the many people who had been part of the liberation struggle to end apartheid.Goldberg stood for 'non-racial' struggle"To be honoured in my lifetime is better than coming to spook you. I'm happy about what's happening today. I'm really deeply moved. I think it's a recognition of the role of a generation of people who brought us out of the darkness of apartheid," Goldberg said.Acting Western Cape ANC chairperson Khaya Magaxa and provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs were also at the ceremony.ALSO WATCH: Rivonia trialist Denis Goldberg awarded honorary doctorate by Scottish university "He's like Mandela. He's one of the founders of the generation that fought for freedom for all our people. He served his time in Pretoria prison. "Because he is white he was cut off from his fellow Rivonia trialists who were on Robben Island. That was psychological cruelty," Magaxa said. Jacobs said: "He is a fighter for social justice. He stood for a struggle that was non-racial. I'm happy that he could achieve this award in his lifetime."In 2016 Goldberg was part of a group of ANC stalwarts who questioned the path the country was on with then president Jacob Zuma at the helm.