President Ramaphosa mourns Harry Belafonte

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deep sadness at the passing of international singer, actor, cultural and civil rights activist, Harold George ‘Harry’ Belafonte.

Belafonte, who passed away on Wednesday, was also an esteemed member of the National Order of the Companion of OR Tambo.

President Ramaphosa said Belafonte’s passing on the eve of the National Orders ceremony and the country’s Freedom Day celebration serves a poignant reminder of the contribution Belafonte made to the international cultural boycott of South Africa during the apartheid years.

“Harry Belafonte holds a special place in the hearts of South Africans and many around the world for his outstanding talent and warmth of his personality, but also for his stand against apartheid whilst in the prime of his international career.

“He was instrumental in sustaining the United Nations-led cultural boycott against apartheid South Africa. He worked closely with South African artists, including Miriam Makeba, to ensure South Africa’s struggle against apartheid remained in the international spotlight and agenda,” the President said.

President Ramaphosa said that Belafonte was an influencer of his time, who spared no energy in supporting the liberation struggle and in campaigning for human rights in many other parts of the world.

“We will remember him as a hero and true friend of South Africa that we must celebrate during our National Orders ceremony and for many years to come,” the President said. -