The Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley said the struggle for freedom must continue as she paid respects to John Langalibalele Dube, the founding President of the African National Congress (ANC).
Mottley delivered the 20th Nelson Mandela Annual lecture at the International Convention Centre (ICC) held for the first time in KwaZulu-Natal in light of the devastating floods in April 2022.
Known as a sound, passionate and fierce voice against unjust barriers that result in delayed climate crisis action, Motley brought the same insight and passion to the lecture.
Founding president of ANC
Mottley expressed her earnest wish to visit the grave of Dube.
She was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, widow of late President Nelson Mandela, Gracà Machel, and other dignitaries.
“We stand today in our conscience that our duty is to continue the struggle and that struggle can only be continued by us, appreciating that on which we stand and that is where we come first and foremost to pay our respects because it gives us the strength to go forward,” Mottley said.
Mottley said her foreign minister Jerome Walcott, who is a student of South African history, was also emotional during the visit to Dube’s grave site.
“For him, this has been an emotional weekend as it has been for me. Barbados has the Lord Nelson statue in our Trafalgar Square, which is in our national heroes square which ironically is celebrated on the 28th of April as opposed to the 27th, a day after you.”
“But he led the movement of the persons to have the Nelson stature removed and we have moved it, we have it in storage to place somewhere else because we are not necessarily trained to obliterate history. We do not believe another person’s history must be the foundation upon which we build our nation,” Mottley added.
Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the province will be holding the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture for the next three years.
“The beginning of this journey for us starting with the Barbados Prime Minister, but also extending that gratitude, solidarity and commitment to work together to fight against some of the evils,” Ncube said.