Address by President Nelson Mandela at the naming of a street in his honour, Harare - Zimbabwe

19 May 1997

Your Excellency President Mugabe;
Government Ministers;
The Mayor of Harare;
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Without the sacrifice and support of many millions of people, we would not be gathered here today for this ceremony.

A few of them - South Africans and Zimbabweans, Africans and citizens of every continent - are renowned across the world as leaders. But the names of most are scarcely known beyond the immediate neighbourhood of their lives, despite their heroism and their fortitude in pursuing freedom for themselves.

The honour you do me by giving this street my name, is a tribute to this worldwide host of freedom-fighters. More especially it commemorates the support and the sacrifices of the Zimbabwean people which sped us to victory. And it celebrates the achievements of the whole South African nation, in freeing themselves from an inhuman system and uniting to work for a better life for all.

I accept this honour in all humility, thankful for what it represents as a symbol of freedom gained and of our shared aspirations for a world without poverty, disease, ignorance and deprivation.

Your worship;

I might add that you have been most sensible in choosing this street for the honor you do me, a street that houses the South African High Commission - in years to come when passers-by wonder who the person was that this street is named after, they will need to go no further than the High Commission to find out.

May I also thank you for so warmly welcoming us to Zimbabwe, on this first state visit to Zimbabwe of a South African President. Your welcome reaffirms the kinship and solidarity that binds us. We have come to Zimbabwe to strengthen those ties so that we are all better armed to conduct our new struggle, for reconstruction of our countries and the development of our region.

We look forward keenly to the meetings we will be having with government and business; to the encounters with the people of Zimbabwe with whom we share centuries of history, decades of joint struggle, and a bright future.

It is now my pleasure to unveil the plaque renaming this street, as a mark of undying friendship between the peoples of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website