honour for castro

Alex Matlala and Chester Makana

Alex Matlala and Chester Makana

The chief executive officer of the SA National Heritage Council, Sonwabile Mancotywa, has appealed to the Limpopo government to initiate programmes that would revive the spirit of ubuntu.

Mancotywa said this yesterday when presenting a Ubuntu Award to the acting Cuban ambassador Enrique Orta on behalf of former president Fidel Castro for his part in liberating Africa. The presentation took place at Mapungubwe Heritage Site.

Castro could not attend the presentation because of ill-health.

The Ubuntu Award is celebrated annually in South Africa to acknowledge and recognise the "selfless role played by individuals for the development of humankind".

The ceremony started with the unveiling of a monument in honour of Castro and six other traditional kings who played a prominent role in the heritage of the province and fought against colonialism. The kings are Malebogo, Mokgoba, Makhado, Mokopane, Nghunghunyani and Sekhukhune.

Receiving the award on behalf of Castro, Orta praised his sickly leader for his contribution to freedom in both Cuba and Africa.

Orta said the philosophy of ubuntu did not exist in Cuba but added that it was a Cuban way of life inherited from Castro.

He said Castro and Cubans in general shared solidarity with most African countries, including South Africa. He said the new crop of African leaders emerging all had a lot to learn from Castro.

The Ubuntu Awards were first awarded to two prominent African leaders - former president Nelson Mandela and former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda.