UP hosted the third ANC International Solidarity Conference in the Rembrandt Hall, on LC de Villiers Sport Campus, last week Friday.
President Jacob Zuma used the conference to deliver a memorial lecture on freedom fighter and longest serving president of the ANC, Oliver Tambo.
The ANC International Solidarity movement was initiated during Apartheid as a means of strengthening international action against the Apartheid regime, after the ANC was banned. Oliver Tambo played a key role in securing support from various countries against the Apartheid regime and actively fought alongside Nelson Mandela and other activists for democracy. Tambo remained a key figure within the ANC until his death in 1993 and members of the ANC regard him as an icon for the various contributions he made to the country.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP Prof. Cheryl de la Rey explained why this conference is relevant to students, “The purpose was to talk about the values which Oliver Tambo stood for: equality for all and supporting human rights.” She emphasised that President Tambo’s most important attribute, which she aims to encourage amongst Tuks students, is “respect for diversity.”
The ANC aims to use this conference as a symbol of unity and President Zuma hopes that by having annual memorial lectures of previous freedom fighters, he will encourage all citizens to continue their vision. “We have a duty to build the type of society that was sacrificed by [these] heroes,” President Zuma said.
Photo: Kobus Barnard