Item 1479 - Speech on the passing of OR Tambo

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ZA COM MR-S-1479


Speech on the passing of OR Tambo


  • 1993 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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  • English

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Photocopy of handwritten copy of speech.

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I was in Durban when I received the tragic news of the death of the National Chairperson of the ANC, Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo. I decided to take the first plane back to Johannesburg. He and I have been together since the late thirties when we were students at Fort Hare. He was my colleague, friend, comrade and brother. It was very powerful as I spent about a minute with him alone at the mortuary. The composed and peaceful expression written across his face made if difficult for me to accept that he was no more.

He was a quietly, efficient scientist, who became a respected teacher, skilful lawyer, formidable politician and diplomat. He loved arts and culture and was himself a polished musician.

During the thirty years in which my comrades and I were in prison he became the standard bearer of the organisation. Throughout these years he and I were in regular contact exchanging views on a wide variety of matters.
Once he had accepted the strategy of negotiations he went full-steam mobilising the membership and the local and international community to support us in this regard.

He was a father figure who kept the organisation together during the most difficult period in our history, and who built it to become the strongest political force in our country.

Rest in peace, O.R. for your work on earth has been done.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 2012-06-26 by Kelsey Duinkerken




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