South Africa’s ruling party is set to hold memorial services in Gauteng and the Western Cape in remembrance and honour of the former President of the Republic of Cuba, Fidel Castro.
To the African National Congress (ANC), Fidel Castro was one of the greatest revolutionaries in history. ANC said:
“(He’s) a great friend and ally of the ANC, the alliance, the broader national liberation movement and the people of South Africa as a whole.
He was with us throughout the period of heightened repression by the apartheid regime and throughout the 30 year period of exile, underground armed struggle and international isolation of the apartheid regime, right from the victory of the Cuban revolution in 1959.
During the exile days, Cuba opened the doors of its schools and universities for the education of many South Africans and their children who were in the liberation movement.
Even today, Cuba continues to support our struggle for the reconstruction and development of our country. There are many Cuban doctors that are serving in our hospitals and clinics, often in the most remote areas of our country.
In addition, there are 3000 South African student doctors who are currently studying in Cuba and this is twice the number of doctors that we graduate in South Africa every year.”
The ruling party also expressed that Fidel Castro’s passing should be mourned and his life celebrated for his role and contribution in building a better life for humanity.
The memorial services will be held in Western Cape at the OR Tambo Community Hall, Khayelitsha on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has been named the keynote speaker.
In Gauteng, it will take place the same day at the Johannesburg City Hall and, ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe will be the keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma will travel to Havana, Cuba to attend the funeral of the late former President.
As the leader of South Africa, he’s also ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at all stations in South Africa tomorrow, 29 November 2016 – the date of the funeral of former President Castro.
Also, the National Flag will be flying at half-mast in the South African mission in Cuba until the 4th of December.