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Russian heroes honoured

12 October 2017

At a ceremony to hand over names of Russians who lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom for South Africa, Ambassador of Russia, HE Mikhael Ivanovich Petrakov said that he was impressed by Freedom Park. It is here that the lives of people who fought for non racialism, peace and justice are celebrated.

Photo: Ambassador of Russia, HE Mikhail Ivanovich Petrakov and Freedom Park CEO Jane Mufamadi

Ambassador Petrakov handed over 67 names which will be inscribed into the Wall of Names at Freedom Park as part of the 120,000 people honoured for their sacrifice.

Jane Mufamadi, CEO of Freedom Park said that the contributions of Russia assisted South Africa in its liberation and in the emancipation of the African voice.

In the global arena South Africa and Russia are part of BRICS,  an association of five major national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In 1963 JB Marks and Moses Kotane left South Africa for Russia to lobby the international community to support the fight against Apartheid. And as Apartheid’s repressive laws intensified,  both died in the 1970s and were buried in Moscow.

As a testament to the friendship between the two countries, speaking at the repatriation of their mortal remains in March 2015, President Zuma said, “We are receiving their remains from Moscow, Russia which was for them like a home away from home, where they were cared for and treated warmly by the friendly people of the former Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation. The cooperation of the Russian Federation in our efforts to bring these two giants of our struggle back to their land of birth, and the remarkable and stately send-off yesterday when they left Russia will also forever be remembered by the South African people as a gesture of true friendship."

Mufamadi said that this act will remain an epitome of true global diplomacy.

Ambassador Petrakov said that it is our moral duty to tell our children, South African and Russian, what apartheid meant to millions of South Africans and the world. He said that he felt humbled and grateful that South Africa is keeping these memories alive and that it brings Russia and South Africa closer and creates a climate of mutual respect and understanding.



November/December 2019











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