Address by President Nelson Mandela on awarding the Order of Good Hope (Grand Master Gold) to Colonel Qadafhi, Zwara - Libya

29 October 1997

Dear Brother Leader,

It is with great pleasure that we return to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya only a few days after our last meeting with you and your compatriots.

Unfortunately this second meeting must be of extreme brevity. We are here only to perform a ceremony which circumstances prevented us from doing in Tripoli last Wednesday.

We have come to confer upon you, Brother Leader, the Order of the Good Hope: Grand Master Gold, the highest honour we can confer upon a citizen of another country.

We must depart from North Africa, from Djerba, within at most two hours in order to meet similar ceremonial obligations in Southern Africa. Amongst these is the coronation of your Brother King Letsie III of Lesotho, to whom we will convey your most esteemed greetings. For us to fulfil our commitment to Lesotho as Chairman of the Southern African Development Community, we must therefore leave Libya within an hour.

Brother Leader; I know that you will permit us to perform this ceremony of decoration in the way we conduct it in South Africa.

In accordance with this procedure, I will call on my Chief of Protocol to read the citation commending the award;

The citation will be repeated in Arabic;

My Chancellor of Orders will present the Order;

And I will confer the decoration.

Thereafter, my Dear Brother Leader, following a brief response by yourself, we would be very grateful if we could depart directly from this stage.

The bonds of history between our two selves and between our peoples, as well as the beckoning renaissance of our shared continent, will no doubt bring us together on other stages on many other occasions.

With your permission, therefore, I now call upon my Chief of Protocol to read the citation commending the award of the Order of Good Hope: Grand Master Gold, to my Brother Leader.

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website