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posted 6 May 2013, 13:22 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 6 May 2013, 13:26 ]
Walter Rodney: murdered by Burnham regime
On 21 April 2013, the Rodney Family wrote to President Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, requesting that the South African Government withdraw or rescind The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo (Oliver Tambo Award) to Linden Forbes Burnham, a late President of Guyana.

In its letter, the family noted that it is critical to examine the historical basis for this national award. In 1998, the South African Presidential Advisory Council on National Orders revised its orders to reflect the spirit of a non-racial, non-sexist democracy where a culture of human rights prevails.

As such, the conduct and character of Forbes Burnham juxtaposes the reasons the award was established. The family's letter stated that it was the people of Guyana who made personal sacrifices to contribute to and stand in solidarity with the South African people in their struggle against apartheid.

A timely and critical article by Dr. Horace Campbell galvanized widespread support. Global petitions and grassroots action initiated in South Africa, Tanzania, the United  States, Germany, Jamaica, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and Canada, to name a few, also called for cancellation.

Consequently, President Zuma and the South African government deferred the award indefinitely. On 30 April 2013, the Rodney family expressed its gratitude for the immediate intervention. The family is steadfast in its opposition to the Oliver Tambo Award being given posthumously to Forbes Burnham at any future date.

The Rodney family would like to thank everyone who expressed their commitment to human rights and social justice by opposing the award. The solidarity and continuing efforts to uphold the legacy of Walter Rodney are greatly appreciated.