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Giuseppe Soncini (Posthumous)

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Giuseppe Soncini (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His contribution to the liberation movement by forging a Pact of Solidarity between the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy and the ANC. His town served as a haven to many anti-apartheid activists during the difficult times of oppression.

Profile of Giuseppe Soncini

Giuseppe Soncini was born on 26 April 1926. Soncini was a councillor of Reggio Emilia town. He became a driving force behind the initiative of the 1970’s Pact of Solidarity between the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy and the ANC. He formed a formidable friendship with then President of the ANC, Oliver Tambo that served and solidified an intercultural exchange between South Africa and Italy at a time where South Africa liberation fighters were in dire of help to fight apartheid.

Tambo acknowledged the profound gratitude that the liberation movement owes to Soncini and the town of Reggio Emilia. In a letter to Reggio Emilia’s administration, he said, “We always carry Reggio Emilia in our hearts; when we speak of Italy we cannot but think of Reggio Emilia. We are linked with profound attachment and immense gratitude that is hard to put into words”.

The history forged by Soncini between Italy and South Africa did not end with the end of apartheid but continues to current times. Soncini’s work with the liberation movement made him a true ambassador of oppressed people. He had a strong determination to bury apartheid and create a democratic South Africa that belonged to all who live in it, and this earned him the respect of many people all over the world. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Pact of Solidarity signed by Tambo and the then mayor of Reggio Emilia, Ugo Benassi.