Cape Town – The Martin Luther King Legacy Award for International Service received by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete should unite the country against racism, the South African National Civic Organisation said on Monday.
Congratulating her on the award, which she received on Sunday in Washington, Sanco national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said it should inspire people across the globe.
"She, like the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr, is a courageous champion against racial injustice and inequality," he said in a statement.
He said the country needed more leaders of her calibre to advance King's legacy of non-racialism, hope and inspiration.
The African National Congress said Mbete was a fitting and deserving recipient of the "illustrious award".
Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement that the award was in recognition of her lifelong dedication to the struggle for liberation and service to the people of South Africa and the world.
"It is further an affirmation of how Comrade Baleka Mbete, herself a product and shaper of the ANC and the South African struggle, and the various collectives she would have worked with, have emulated the iconic values espoused by Dr Martin Luther King - service, distinguished leadership, sacrifice, community and respect for human dignity amongst others."