After fruitful discussions and consultations led by the heritage institutions the National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) , South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA), the Freedom Park and the main stakeholder Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), the Zambian government declared home of the unsung African hero, Oliver Reginal Tambo in Zambia at Lusaka as a national monument.
South Africa’s compatriot Tambo, spent 22 years of his 33 years exile in ‘Phiri’ which was a nickname for his Lusaka residence at the time. African National Congress’ (ANC) headquarters were based in Lusaka where he was President of the political party from 1969 – 1991.
“Africa’s roads to independence are part of the heritage of humanity. This is evident from this indelible mark left by stalwart Tambo, who dedicated his entire life to the struggle for the liberation of his people” said Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa, CEO of the NHC.
In its statement, the Nation Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) said that the new heritage site was important as evidence and symbol of the role that Zambia played in ensuring that the whole of Southern African was independent from the various oppressive colonial and apartheid regimes. “The assigning of this house to the late Oliver Tambo by the Zambian Government was not just an honour to the freedom fighters, but also a recognition of the late Oliver Tambo as South Africa’s possible future President after independence who was fully in-charge of ANC when the late Nelson Mandela whom he later handed over office to, was incarcerated in prison for 27 years. This house was assigned to Mr Tambo by the Zambian Government as his safe house. The house seats on an approximately 1.0 hectares in extent.”
Born on 27 October 1917, Reginald Oliver Tambo was born in the rural town of Bizana, in the Eastern Cape and died on 24 April 193 in Johannesburg.
“I believe that this heritage site will be part of a network of sites for Africa’s Liberation Heritage Route which will be conserved for future generations to build a nation proud of its African heritage,” said the CEO of the NHC.