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Olof Palme (1927 - 1986)

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

Olof Palme (1927 - 1986) Awarded for:
Exceptional contribution to the struggle against apartheid and for a just world.

Profile of Olof Palme

Olof Palme, the late Swidish Prime Minister, was a friend of South Africa. And as a friend he always made himself available to the people of South Africa during some of the country’s most testing times.

Those old enough will remember the devastating effects of the Sharpville massacre on the psyche of the South African people. Some will recall the benevolent efforts of the Nordic people when they formed the Swidish International Development Authority as a scholarship programme for South African refugees.

Among those gracious people was Olof Palme. He was with us during the aftermath of the Soweto killings in 1976.

Palme was instrumental in obtaining a firm commitment from the Socialist international in support of the African liberation struggle, while constantly challenging the major western powers which continued to undermine international action against the apartheid state.

The entire African continent is indebted to this great leader of the Swedish people. Olof Palme continued till the end of his life to mobilize action for the amancipation of Africa. His last major address was to the Swedish Peoples’ Parliament against apartheid, a week before he was assassinated. He concluded it with a call that ‘we must live up to our responsibility for bringing this repulsive system (of apartheid)’.