Government will host the national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and one of the country’s most respected struggle stalwarts, Inkosi Albert Mvumbi Luthuli, in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday 21 July 2017.
The commemoration ceremony, which will be held under the theme “Unity in action and unity of purpose”, will be addressed by President Jacob Zuma and will remember and celebrate the life and legacy of the country’s liberation struggle giant and former President of the governing party, the African National Congress, Chief Albert Luthuli.
Chief Albert Luthuli passed away tragically on 21 July 1967, after he had reportedly been hit by a goods train on his way home in Groutville, KwaZulu-Natal. His funeral was attended by leaders from various political formations, faith groups as well as members of the public from all races in the midst of fierce racial tensions in South Africa at the time.
As part of the ceremony, President Zuma will lay a wreath at the gravesite of Chief Luthuli, which is a National Heritage Site, and also unveil the plaque at the newly built Luthuli Memorial.
President Zuma said the ceremony was an important occasion for South Africa and the African continent as Chief Albert Luthuli’s leadership and humanity inspired many leaders not only in South Africa but across the continent and the world.
“Chief Albert Luthuli was a phenomenal inspiration to many of us in the country during the struggle for liberation and stood tall against white supremacy and racist government. Chief Luthuli was one of the leaders who spearheaded several demonstrations and strikes against the white minority government which led to his arrest in 1956 and being charged with treason,” said President Zuma.
“On this day the country will remember one of its most admired political leaders and a colossal symbol of peace and unity whose humanity influenced a leadership ideology that appealed to all races, religions and political formations not only in South African but across the globe. This led to him being bestowed a Nobel Peace Prize Award in 1960 for his contribution in the fight against apartheid and imperialism as well as for freedom and justice for all people of South Africa, Africa and the world. He was the first African to receive this international high-status award,” said President Zuma.
Chief Albert Luthuli’s political philosophy was informed by five values which are humanity, gender equality, creation of a non-racial and non-sexist democratic society in South Africa, unity in action, as well as a people-centred programme of action in the struggle against apartheid.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa