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John Minto Statement On Nomination For Tambo Award

John Minto Statement On Nomination For Tambo Award

30 January 2008


New Zealand

I understand the South African President’s office has issued a statement denying a nomination had been made for myself to receive a Companion of OR Tambo award.

The nomination was made by South African Sports Minister, Rev Makhenkesi Stofile, who visited New Zealand late last year with the South African Netball team for the World Netball Championships in Auckland.

He spoke about the nomination to me by phone and in person when he and his wife Nambita came to dinner at our home. Former anti-apartheid activists Dick and Kitch Cuthbert were present as well.

Rev Stofile said he had put forward a nomination for me to receive the award on behalf of all the New Zealanders who has been active in the struggle against apartheid. He said it had gone to a committee of three ministers (he mentioned their names) who would make the final decision.

I said I was uncomfortable at the nomination but because it was on behalf of the wider anti-apartheid movement I would think about it.

I consulted quite widely here and as a result sent the “Open letter to the SA President” earlier this week.

The South African President’s office appear to be trying to fudge the issue. The statement from their office seems to be an attempt to fudge the issue and is at best misleading.

It is standard procedure for governments to check whether an award will be accepted before any public announcements are made. It may be that the nomination was withdrawn on the basis of my initial reaction.

John Minto

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