Freedom of eThekwini bestowed of former Atlanta mayor
eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo honours former US Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young Jr with the Freedom or the City of Durban on Sunday evening.
Former Atlanta mayor and erstwhile US Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young Jr said he was honoured to have received the Freedom of the City of Durban on Sunday night.
Young became only the second global icon upon whom this honour has been bestowed. The late former President Nelson Mandela was the first recipient.
The City of Durban honoured Young for his contribution to freedom and democracy in South Africa. He was one of the prominent vocal opponents of the apartheid regime.
When he was the mayor of Atlanta‚ Young contributed to those in need in KwaZulu-Natal through donating books‚ voter education information and medical supplies during the early 1990s.
“The liberation of the people of South Africa means access to capital‚ its democracy and freedom‚ and restoring the dignity of South Africans‚” said Young on Sunday evening.
Young‚ who was taken on a parade around the city centre prior to the function‚ was accompanied by the Mayor of eThekwini‚ James Nxumalo‚ and Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
Honouring Young‚ Nxumalo said the occasion was a rare occurrence and a proud moment for the city.
“We recognise your contribution to the freedom and democracy that is enjoyed by many of us today‚ and bestowing the Freedom of eThekwini upon you is our gesture that we truly appreciate your contribution to the development and growth of our nation‚” he said.
For his role in the struggle for freedom‚ President Jacob Zuma honoured Young with a highest order‚ of Companion of OR Tambo‚ which is awarded to eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown towards South Africa.
Young said being given the Freedom of the City of eThekwini was an honour‚ not just for him but for all of the people of the United States of America‚ particularly those who were inspired by the leadership‚ vision and the courage of the people of South Africa.
“The people I brought with me are here because of their dedication. They gave up their time and talents to come and finance new jobs and opportunities for youth to study in the US. They (students) will come back to lead not only this country but all Africa‚” said Young.
Young led a delegation of more than 40 people‚ among them doctors‚ businesspersons‚ academics and teachers.