In dark days, Rawlings offered our fighters refuge – Ramaphosa

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has said that in those dark days when South Africans were exiled from the land of their birth, the Ghanaian ex-President, Jerry Rawlings offered the leaders and fighters refuge, even assisting them to secure Ghanaian passports.

While paying tribute on Saturday, to the Ghanaian former President who died on Thursday,12 November 2020, at the age of 73, after a brief illness, Ramaphosa described his death as a loss to the entire continent, expressed his condolences to the government and people of the Republic of Ghana. 

According to him, “In 1957 Ghana became the first the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence from colonial rule. The country became a refuge for activists from national liberation movements on the continent, including the exiled African National Congress (ANC). 

“In those dark days when they were exiled from the land of their birth, President Rawlings offered our leaders and fighters refuge; even assisting them to secure Ghanaian passports, Rawlings was a great friend of the anti-apartheid struggle” President Ramaphosa said. 

He added that during Rawlings tenure as Head of State, he was an active and vocal participant in the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner to the African Union (AU). “Ghana has been a steadfast ally of South Africa in getting support for numerous resolutions at the OAU and the AU. 

“Rawlings as a champion of the poor who abhorred corruption. We collectively strive as African nations to realize the aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063, we look to the examples set by leaders like Rawlings who handed over power to a civilian government, and sought to advance democracy in their respective societies”, Ramaphosa said.

“President Rawlings has left an indelible mark in the history of not just Ghana but the entire continent; he will be forever remembered for championing African unity throughout his life,” the South African President added.

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