Statement by Minister Mthethwa on the vandalising of OR Tambo Legacy Project

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22 Oct 2014

It was with shock and disappointment that I learned about the vandalism and destruction of property at the OR Tambo Legacy Project at Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

This wanton violence resulted in the burning down of two rondavels, loss of priceless artefacts and documents, including the statue of Tambo at the Garden of Remembrance.

It is a serious indictment and cause for embarrassment that this happens when we celebrate 20 Years of Democracy and Freedom.

Tambo was an international icon who was widely recognised and respected for leading and mobilising the global anti-apartheid movement. In fact he was pivotal in keeping the unity of the exiled liberation movement intact that ultimately brought about freedom.

This wanton violence that results in destruction of property, especially libraries and now heritage sites is not acceptable.

Freedom comes with responsibility.  It is time to unlearn behaviour that explodes into violence, destruction and death during service delivery protests.

This self-destructive attitude neither contributes to nation building nor inspires pride. In fact, one of the values to be learnt from President OR Tambo is the superiority of sound argument and consensus seeking in dialogue among differing views.

I wish to appeal to all our citizens to engage in constructive dialogue that will turn us into agents of what we want to see: a peaceful, prosperous and democratic country.

Let us act in ways that move our beautiful South Africa forward.

For further details, call Spokesperson for the Minister Sandile Memela at 0828003750