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OR Tambo commemorative statue unveiled

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has unveiled the OR Tambo commemorative statue to honour the late struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo.



The nine-metre tall bronze OR Tambo statue has officially been unveiled by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in honour of the late struggle stalwart and global icon Oliver Reginald Tambo at OR Tambo International Airport.

At the unveiling President Ramaphosa said “Oliver Tambo was the architect of our freedom…It is therefore most fitting that this statue has been erected here at this airport that bears his name, and that is a gateway to the continent and to the world.”

The statue honouring OR Tambo is situated outside the international arrivals terminal of the airport which bears his name.

Tambo was born on the 27th of October in Bizana, in 1917. A fervent anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary who led the African National Congress (ANC), Tambo served as President of the ANC from 1967 to 1991.

In the 1940s Tambo enrolled at the University of Fort Hare where became politically conscious. He was heavily involved in student politics and activism and he was among the students who led the student boycott at Fort Hare, which called for the reconstitution of a democratically elected Student’s Representative Council (SRC). Tambo bore the brunt of his activism and he was expelled from the institution, and he could not complete his Bachelor of Science honours degree.

Tambo died in April 1993 only a year before the first democratic election in 1994.

The City of Ekurhuleni has declared October as OR Tambo month and numerous activities to honour Tambo’s legacy have been.


The recognition has been welcomed and hailed by many Africans across the continent and South Africans.