Speech By President Nelson Mandela at a Banquet in Honour of Julius Nyerere, Johannesburg, 17 October 1997
Master of Ceremonies; Mwalimu Julius Nyerere; Mr Nicky Oppenheimer; Honoured guests;
It is a great pleasure to share in this occasion honouring one of Africa's great patriots.
It is a humbling experience to recall the contribution that Mwalimu Nyerere has made to the liberation of our continent, and to freedom in South Africa.
This is the freedom fighter who heard Chief Luthuli's appeal and joined Trevor Huddleston in launching the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Britain in 1959; a leader whose decisive intervention at the Commonwealth Conference after the Sharpeville Massacre led to the exclusion of apartheid South Africa.
I had the personal privilege of meeting him many years ago, in 1962, when I visited Tanzania seeking help as we embarked on the armed struggle. Then, as now, I was struck by his lucid thoughts; his burning desire for justice everywhere; and his commitment to Africa's interests.
After the independence of Tanzania, Mwalimu, as its head of state, continued to play an important role in the struggle for justice and democracy not only in Africa, but throughout the world.
The people of Tanzania gave unstinting support to the liberation of South Africa. They gave recognition of the most practical kind to the principle that our freedom and theirs were interdependent.
Today, as free nations we have…