We are greatly honoured to receive, on behalf of the African National Congress, the illustrious Ho Chi Minh Award, conferred by the World Peace Council on the vanguard movement of our people - the ANC.
The decision by the April 1986 Sofia session of the World Peace Council to present this award to our movement places our organisation in the midst of such vital forces for man`s liberation as the Sandinista Liberation Front of Nicaragua, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - Party of Labour (MPLA-PL) who were the earlier recipients of this singular distinction. Indeed, this poses a most serious challenge to the ANC and the people of South Africa to relentlessly pursue their struggle for the destruction of the imperialist supported apartheid system and thus make their own contribution to the promotion of peace and progress in the world. In accepting this award, we solemnly pledge never to rest until this goal is achieved.
We are indeed proud to be associated with the name of Ho Chi Minh, a revolutionary giant and genius, a patriot who devoted the greater part of his life to the liberation of his fatherland. His was a life of intense struggle, hardships, simplicity, clarity of vision and sacrifices that contributed immensely to the heroic victory of the Vietnamese people over French colonialism and Japanese and American aggression. This most historic victory over a combination of colonialists and powerful imperialist forces inspired and encouraged the oppressed in South Africa and served as a spur to peoples fighting for freedom and national independence everywhere.
Ho Chi Minh`s devotion to the liberation struggle and his strong commitment to the ideals of peace and friendship among peoples, won him a special place of honour, high esteem and respect among Vietnamese and peace-loving peoples the world over.
We are therefore most grateful to the WPC for the great honour bestowed on our movement. The WPC has, since its inception, always stood firmly behind the just cause of our people and movement. It has given its unfailing support and solidarity to our struggle throughout the three decades of its existence. This award, which we are greatly honoured to receive today, is yet another reaffirmation of the deep commitment and total support of the Council to the cause of freedom and independence for the people of South Africa. We are proud to be identified with and to be honoured by the WPC which consistently and tirelessly struggles for peace, disarmament and the security of peoples.
It is indeed fitting that this ceremony takes place in the People`s Republic of Angola - a firm trench of the African Revolution - a country whose heroic people and government under the leadership of MPLA-Party of Labour give firm support to the cause of national liberation of the peoples of South Africa and of Namibia under the leadership of SWAPO, and to the cause of world peace. Angola, a country whose people have never known peace since the attainment of their hard-won independence, because of the consistent South African aggression and intervention, is in the forefront of the struggle for the total liberation of the African continent.
As we receive the Ho Chi Minh Award, the colonial apartheid system is in a deep crisis, unprecedented in the history of white minority domination in our country. Our people are in revolt, making it impossible for the apartheid regime to rule in the old way. In its desperation, the Botha-Malan clique has resorted to wholesale repression, especially since the declaration of the current state of emergency in June of this year, in a fruitless attempt to destroy the democratic movement of our people.
Internationally, the isolation of the apartheid system has reached new heights. Even its reliable allies find themselves driven into dead-end streets by the masses of the people in their own countries who resolutely demand more effective action against the regime of terror in South Africa.
It is precisely at this moment that our revolutionary movement is poised with greater determination to deliver the final death blow against the apartheid regime. This is the task that we set ourselves as we prepare to observe the 25th anniversary of our people`s army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and the 75th anniversary of the ANC.
Long Live the Cause of World Peace!