Luthuli's legacy lives on - Zuma

2017-07-21 18:48
President Jacob Zuma. (AP file)

President Jacob Zuma. (AP file)

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Durban - President Jacob Zuma on Friday encouraged South Africans to take solace in the fact that Chief Albert Luthuli's legacy would live on for future generations to learn from and build on.

Part of his legacy was ensuring the country was united, non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous, Zuma said in Groutville, KwaDukuza, at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Luthuli's death.

The anti-apartheid activist and 1960 Nobel Peace Prize laureate died on July 21, 1967, after he was hit by a train while on his way to his Groutville home. Zuma said Luthuli’s death happened under "mysterious conditions".

"Luthuli fought for a non-racial, democratic South Africa for all who live in it," Zuma said.

During his Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Luthuli had outlined the type of country he envisaged and what black South Africans were fighting for.

"In Norway, on receiving the award, he said: 'This award could not be for me alone, nor for just South Africa, but for Africa as a whole'. Once again a demonstration of real Africanism," Zuma said.

Zuma said it was during Luthuli's presidency of the ANC, from 1952 until his death, that the Freedom Charter was born. He described it as the "basic document for ANC policies".

During Luthuli's time, the ANC adopted a non-violent struggle at a time when it was facing violence from the National Party-led government. "People were banned, banished and shot at," Zuma said.

Zuma described Luthuli as an honest man.

Luthuli’s oppressors had sought to silence him by stripping him of his chieftaincy because of his involvement in politics.

"They were trying to intimidate and silence him, but that hardened his resolve to end apartheid."

Zuma said, even though the abuse of women and children, and poverty, persisted, Luthuli would be happy today because the government was providing indigent families with free basic services, social grants, and students with financial help.

He laid a wreath at Luthuli's grave and unveiled a plaque at the new Luthuli memorial. 

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  albert luthuli  |  durban  |  politics 2017  |  nobel peace prize
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