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South African award recognises Gareth Evans’ contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Australia’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with an Order of the Companions of OR Tambo: Silver Award at a special ceremony in Pretoria in recognition of his contribution to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Professor Evans was a prominent and vocal international champion of the anti-apartheid cause as Australian Foreign Minister.  In the Commonwealth during the late 1980s he played a particularly important role in pursuing financial sanctions which proved critical in effective international action against the apartheid regime.
Professor Evans was also one of the first foreign government representatives to meet former President Nelson Mandela on his release, joining him in Lusaka in February 1990 just days after his iconic ‘walk to freedom’.
He later visited South Africa for the first time in 1991 during the transition period, sending a clear message of Australia’s support for a free and democratic South Africa.

“Successive Australian Governments were resolute in their anti-apartheid efforts over many years, matched by widespread support among the Australian community.  Professor Evans’s award is testament to the enduring ties between Australia and a free and democratic South Africa which were forged in the struggle for South Africa’s liberation”, said Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, HE Mr Adam McCarthy.
“This award is our humble way of recognising a truly genuine cause stirred by Professor Evans’s life-long belief in justice, peace and equality for all mankind. While we pay tribute to the sterling contribution to the attainment of our democracy by one of Australia’s great sons, we look forward to greater partnership between our sister countries towards confronting the current and future domestic and global challenges”, said South Africa’s High Commissioner to Australia, H.E Mr Sibusiso Ndebele.
The Order of the Companions of O R Tambo is awarded to eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship shown to South Africa. The ‘Grand Companion of OR Tambo’ in silver is awarded to those who have actively promoted the interests and aspirations of South Africa through outstanding cooperation, solidarity and support.

High Commission of Australia in Pretoria, South Africa




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March 2018






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