ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 March 2016

ETHEKWINI CONFERS FREEDOM OF THE CITY TO GLOBAL ICON

Thousands of eThekwini residents joined United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, who was accompanied by a high-powered political delegation, during a parade from the King Dinuzulu Park to the City Hall in honour of the revered leader yesterday, 27 March 2016.

Ambassador Young is the second global icon upon whom this honour is bestowed. The late former President, Nelson Mandela, was the first recipient.

Young was greeted with loud cheers from members of the public as he walked down Dr Pixley kaIsaka Seme Street with his wife Carolyn, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Member of the Provincial Legislature Sihle Zikalala, Mayor of eThekwini, Cllr James Nxumalo and members of the Executive Committee.

EThekwini awarded Young with the Freedom of the City at a prestigious ceremony at the City Hall main auditorium. Members of the Andrew J. Young Foundation, business representatives and eThekwini residents were in attendance to witness this special occasion.

Ambassador Young was bestowed the Freedom of the City as recognition of the contribution he made in the liberation movement, his contribution to development and democracy in South Africa.

When Ambassador Young was the Mayor of Atlanta, he contributed to those in need in KwaZulu-Natal through donating books, voter education, providing medical supplies and communication equipment during the early 1990s.

Honouring Young, Mayor 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. We truly appreciate your contribution to the development and growth of our nation,” he said.
For his role in the struggle for freedom and contribution to the upliftment of humanity, President Jacob Zuma honoured Ambassador Young with the Order of Companions of Oliver Tambo, which is awarded to those who actively promoted the freedom, justice, human rights and democracy, through active support and expression of solidarity for the struggle against apartheid, beyond our shores.

Young said being given the Freedom of the City of eThekwini was an honour, not 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 liberation of the people of South Africa means access to capital, its democracy and freedom and restoring the dignity of South Africans,” he said.

“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 of Africa,” said Young
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe congratulated eThekwini for honouring Young. He thanked Young for his commitment towards mediation and decolonisation of Zimbabwe and Namibia which gave rise the emancipation of the oppressed in South Africa.

“The bond of friendship that you have garnered for the people of South Africa and the City of Durban will forever be celebrated and appreciated,” said Radebe.

Young led a delegation of over 40 people under the umbrella of Andre J Young Foundation. Among them were doctors, business persons, academics and teachers. “They are here to share their knowledge and skills and to see where and how they can assist,” said Young.
The ceremony was concluded with the signing of a certificate of the Freedom of the City and a Freedom Medallion that illustrates Nelson Mandela standing behind his jail door with a candle in his hand celebrating freedom.

ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s spokesman, Thulani Mbatha.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za