Former President, Thabo Mbeki says the people of Zambia saved the life of the late ANC President, Oliver Tambo when the apartheid regime wanted to kill him in exile. He says Kenneth Kaunda and his people paved the way for liberation of South Africa and other countries on the continent.
Kaunda led Zambia to independence in 1964 and served as that country’s president until 1991. He passed away last year in June at the age of 97.
Mbeki was delivering the inaugural Kenneth Kaunda memorial lecture in Lusaka, Zambia. He says Zambians took a risk and accommodated Tambo in their homes to avoid being assassinated.
“As our struggle made further advances, especially during the 1980’s, the apartheid regime grew more desperate and worked to assassinate more of our leaders and this meant, among others, we had to strengthen the security around President Oliver Tambo. One of the things we did was to request many of our Zambian friends secretly to accommodate President Tambo for two to three days at the time. We were very greatly moved that not even once did any of our Zambian friends decline our request,” says Mbeki.
VIDEO: The inaugural Kenneth Kaunda Memorial Lecture by H.E. President Thabo Mbeki