America and South Africa share a painful history, says US ambassador to SA Lana Marks

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United States ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks. (Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images)
United States ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks. (Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images)
  • US ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks says America and South Africa share sacred principles that people are equal before the law.
  • Marks said the two countries shared the same painful history of inequality.
  • The two countries shared painful histories and lessons learned at great cost to citizens, Marks said.

"America and South Africa share sacred principles that people are equal before the law."

So said US ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks in a virtual address during the launch of America’s Voices Against Apartheid project.

Marks said the two countries shared the same painful history of inequality.

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"Our countries share painful histories and lessons learnt at great cost to our people. We also share sacred principles that people are equal before the law and all human beings deserve freedom, respect, and preservation of their dignity.

"Government needs to safeguard these rights and citizens need to remain active agents of change and hold governments to account. It is these ties that bind us, that drives the America’s Voices Against Apartheid project and I am honoured to add my voice to those urging this important work forward. There is so much to be done," she said.

Marks said the project safeguarded and built on the historical ties between the two countries.

"Indeed, these are the ties that binds us."

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Marks said she was impressed by the work done by the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, historians from Howard University and academic institutions across the US.

"I am reminded of the young American student Amy Biehl, whose labour of love led her to Gugulethu, where she was caught in a crossfire and lost her life in 1993. Her parents later established the Amy Biehl Foundation which offers development programmes for challenged youth and vulnerable communities.

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"This work in her name lays a firm foundation for future academic progress and provides hope for change. Her name is inscribed at Freedom Park in Pretoria, in recognition of her contributions. An American woman who gave her life and hope in making South Africa better.

"South Africans are likewise committed to making the United States better, as we saw this past year, when they used their voices to condemn police brutality in the US," Marks said.


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