Maputo a second home to me - Jacob Zuma

President says Mozambique and SA share special bond forged in struggle against colonialism

Acceptance Speech by His Excellency President of the Republic of South Africa, Dr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma on the occasion of accepting the Freedom of the City of Maputo, December 13 2011

Your Lordship, the Mayor of the City of Maputo, Mr. David Simango;
Your Excellency, Governor of Maputo Province, 
Ms. Lucilia Nota Hama;
Honourable Ministers here present;
Members of the Municipal Council of the City of Maputo;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Ladies and gentlemen;

I have always regarded myself as an honorary citizen of Maputo given that I spent a number of years here during our liberation struggle. 

I could however, not have foreseen or dreamed that a day would come for me to be granted such an overwhelming honour. I sincerely thank you for such an overwhelming decoration, the Freedom of the City of Maputo, a city I love so dearly which was and still is, my second home.

I  thank the people of Mozambique and the citizens of Maputo City in particular for this award.

As I accept this honour on behalf of the people of South Africa, I do so mindful of the fact that Mozambique for many of us was home away from home. 

Ladies and gentlemen; 

This award represents friendship and togetherness. It reaffirms that the people of South Africa and the people of Mozambique are one people.  We share a rich history, culture, language and geography. 

We share a friendship and solidarity that has survived many trials and tribulations. 

We share a bright future in which we are determined to continue working together for the betterment of the peoples of our two countries.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen; 

Maputo is affectionately known as the City of Acacias in reference to the acacia trees commonly found along the avenues of this beautiful City. 

I am informed that, according to the Egyptian mythology, acacia trees are associated with characteristics of the tree of life. 

We are indeed also benefitting from the wisdom provided by the shadow of the tree of life. 

It is this tree of Maputo that provided shade and shelter to many of liberation fighters who sought refuge from its bosoms. 

Its fruits and roots served as food for many hungry stomachs in quest for survival during the ‘hey days' of apartheid.

Indeed, the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique share a special bond. 

The bond that binds us together is a very special one which was borne out of countless sacrifices when we were fighting against colonialism and apartheid. 

Our past relations are a guideline for the future, a future of cooperation, togetherness and a future of prosperity if we work hard to strengthen our bilateral relationship as the two countries.

We are ready to play our part as the Republic of South Africa.

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

I sincerely thank the people of this great country for this humbling honour.

This will inspire us to continue to work together for the betterment of the people of the two countries.

Muito Obrigado. 

Issued by The Presidency, December 13 2011

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