Tuesday, April 30, 2013

S/Africans know, respect KK immensely - Mathebe
By Moses Kuwema
Tue 30 Apr. 2013, 14:01 CAT

Dr Kenneth Kaunda (c) cuts his birthday cake joined by Cosatu
president Sdumo Dlamini (l), Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union president Zizamele Cebekhulu (2nd right), South Africa's Communist Party central executive committee member Charles Setsubi (3rd right) and High Commissioner Kgoshi Mathebe during a party at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on Sunday - Picture by Joseph Mwenda

SOUTH African High Commissioner to Zambia Kgoshi-Piet-Mathebe says his country's liberation could not be talked about without mentioning the selfless contribution by Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Zambia.

Speaking on Sunday at Mulungushi International Conference Centre to celebrate Dr Kaunda's 89th birthday, High Commissioner Mathebe said South Africans know and respect Dr Kaunda immensely.

"We are always indebted to you and this nation. Dr Kaunda, we all hope you are still enjoying a wonderful day and I talk on behalf of everyone here and the millions of Zambians, South Africans and others around Africa in saying that we hope that we will be able to celebrate with you many birthdays to come," he said.

High Commissioner Mathebe said it was not coincidence that Dr Kaunda was celebrating his birthday a day after South Africans celebrated Freedom Day, which fell on April 27.

He said South Africans could not celebrate without invoking the names of Dr Kaunda and Zambia.

"It is this visionary African statesman that invited the African National Congress and other liberation movements to settle here in Zambia when it was not fashionable to do so. For Dr Kaunda, it was just the right thing to do. For that, he and Zambia paid a heavy price for the more than three decades of support, solidarity and compassion," he said.

High Commissioner Mathebe said Dr Kaunda was the driving force behind the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth because of apartheid.

He said this, once again, testified to the character and commitment of Dr Kaunda to peace and freedom.

"Let us not forget that our mother body, the African Union - in the past the OAU - will on May 25 this year be celebrating 50 years. You will agree with me that there is no better human being, no better African that embodies the values of our continental body. Dr Kaunda is counted among our founding fathers, those Pan Africanists, who in their wisdom and vision laid the foundation for unity and solidarity on the African continent," said High Commissioner Mathebe.

During the same event, Dr Kaunda was honoured by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) for the role he played in the liberation of various countries in the region including, South Africa.
In accepting the honour, Dr Kaunda described apartheid as an evil system.

Popcru was holding its fourth international police symposium to push African countries to recognise police and prison warders unions.

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