Pandor highlights Kenneth Kaunda's role as educator and public health activist

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor delivered a tribute during a virtual memorial service on Thursday.

In this file photo taken on August 17, 2010 Former and first Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the 30th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Windhoek, Namibia. Picture: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

CAPE TOWN - International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor said that the late Kenneth Kaunda's internationalism and Pan-African activism was evident even before he became the first president of an independent and democratic Zambia.

Pandor delivered a tribute during a virtual memorial service on Thursday.

"As stated by Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union, President Kaunda placed the people of Zambia in the firing line of the government of apartheid South Africa," Pandor said.

She said that Kaunda did this through his unwavering support for African liberation movements, including providing sanctuary in Zambia.

"Plenty of speakers have affirmed PresidentKkaunda's legacy as a freedom fighter but it is also imperative that we should remember his role as an educator and as a public health activist. President Kaunda was a teacher and also later become the chancellor of the University of Zambia."

Pandor said that Kaunda saw education as indispensable to building post-colonial Zambia.

Kaunda died on 17 June at the age of 97 and was laid to rest in Lusaka on Wednesday.

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