Obamas to be awarded freedom of Cape Town - Patricia de Lille
STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF CAPE TOWN, ALDERMAN PATRICIA DE LILLE: MAYOR DE LILLE PROPOSES FREEDOM OF THE CITY AWARD TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
(Note to Editors: The following statement distributed at a media conference hosted by Mayor De Lille to announce her proposal to the City's Rules Committee to recommend to Council to award the Freedom of the City to the President of United States of America Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama)
Good morning, goeiedag, molweni,
The qualities of leadership, excellence and inclusion are amongst those that the people of Cape Town aspire to. Our city, built as it is on a rich history of traditions and heritage has been subject to divisions in the past.
We have learnt how to work towards overcoming our divisions. We have sought lessons from our past that have taught us, upon introspection, that there is as much that binds us together as there is that which has drawn us apart.
We have sought inspiration from those heroic men and women who have worked tirelessly and sacrificed much to give us freedom and dignity. We have drawn on our own hopes for a city that is a caring home for all of its children.
As South Africans, we map, as does the rest of the country, a course from our past into a better future for all of us. Like many travellers, we need markers with which to chart our journey.
For this city, as for the entire world, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are the guiding stars to our eventual destination. In a cynical age, there is a desperate need for universal hope. Hope that acts as a reminder that, no matter what the odds, even the supposedly unattainable is within our grasp.
Symbols that retain their meaning in these times, and ones that embody the qualities to which we aspire, are worthy of the highest recognition.
In recognition of their inspirational example and proof that every obstacle can be overcome, I have proposed that the Rules Committee recommends to Council that the City of Cape Town awards the Freedom of the City to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama and the First Lady of the United States of America, Michele Obama.
Our living Freemen of the City include former President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Dr. Richard van der Ross. President Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States of America on the 4th of November 2008 and received the Nobel Peace Prize on the 9th of October 2009, for creating a new climate of cooperation in international politics.
First Lady Obama travelled to Cape Town last year as part of a broader outreach to Africa and brought with her the uplifting example of achieving the impossible.
Noting the inspiration they have been to us and the world, and in acknowledgement that their extraordinary successes have only been possible with the support of each other, I have proposed to the Rules Committee, in accordance with all processes, that it recommend that the next meeting of Council honours Barack and Michelle Obama with our highest award.
It is my hope that their example will forever be a reminder that where there is hope and perseverance and where we are fuelled by the courage of our convictions, that even the unimaginable is doable.
And let that formula forever be part of Cape Town's identity as we build a better city for all of our people.
Statement issued by Solly Malatsi, Spokesperson for the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, May 14 2012
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