PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRETORIA -Friday, 18th June, 2021
The South African government has declared 10 days of National Mourning with immediate effect in honour of Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said flags would fly at half mast at all flag stations to pay tribute to the fallen leader.
In a statement made available to the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, last evening President Ramaphosa said South Africa was united with the Kaunda family and the people of Zambia in sadness and in mourning.
He said President Kaunda dedicated his 97 long years to the liberation and service of the people of Zambia.
“He devoted himself and the Zambian people to supporting liberation movements around our region in their quest for independence and freedom. Under his leadership, Zambia provided refuge, care and support to liberation fighters who had been forced to flee the countries of their birth,” President Ramaphosa said.
He added that he stood alongside the people of South Africa at the time of their greatest need and was unwavering in his desire for the achievement of their freedom.
“It was in honour of this remarkable contribution that the South African government bestowed on President Kaunda the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in 2002,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said Kaunda was a pioneering champion of a decolonised, united and prosperous Africa and represented his country and continent with distinction on global platforms.
‘’Today, we recommit ourselves to building the Africa of KK’s vision – an Africa of peace, justice, prosperity and innovation. Today, we place ourselves alongside Kenneth Kaunda’s family and the Zambian nation as they mourn this deep loss,” President Ramaphosa said.
“As the South African nation, we will never be able to repay the debt of gratitude that we owe to President Kaunda.”
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Major General Jackson Miti has thanked President Ramaphosa and other leaders and organizations for sending wishes of condolences to the people of Zambia on the death of Dr. Kaunda.
He said the declaration of 10 days of national mourning was a humbling gesture to the people of Zambia and the family for late Dr Kaunda.
Maj Gen Miti described Dr Kaunda as a liberation icon who played an important role in the liberation struggle Southern Africa and Africa as a whole.
Mrs Naomi Nyawali
First secretary Press and public relations
Zambia High Commission South Africa