Struggle hero Denis Goldberg received the Isithwalandwe/ SeaparankoeAwardon Wednesday, surrounded by artworks and sculptures in his home overlooking Hout Bay harbour.
This is the ANC’s highest honour for his contribution to the Struggle.
It was presented by Deputy President David Mabuza because president Cyril Ramaphosa is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I’m very proud that this was awarded to me when I can appreciate it, unlike Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Ahmed Timol, Albertina Sisulu and ANC Women’s League founder Charlotte Maxeke.
“Look carefully at the names (of the award recipients) there are men, women, Africans, coloured, white people and Indians represented on the list.
“In a country for all South Africans to live in. It’s a difficult balancing act to maintain with the majority of the population being black African but we can’t ignore the rest,” he said.
Mr Mabuza said Mr Goldberg stands for what the ANC use to.
“I’m not very sure today whether he is happy about the ANC because we might have gone astray many a time along the way. The ANC of their time was the greatest movement. We’re trying by all means to emulate them and I’m sure one day we’ll make it. But we are not going to fail you. We’ll try our best to work for the people, especially the downtrodden, the poor of our country,” said Mr Mabuza.
Mr Goldberg became emotional when he said that the award was not only for him, but also for his late wife Esme, as well as the many people who had been part of the liberation struggle and brought South Africa out of the darkness of apartheid.
Mr Goldberg, who has cancer, said he still wants to see the building of his arts and culture training centre, House of Hope, in St Andrews Road, Hout Bay, which houses the Hout Bay Museum (“House of Hope signed and sealed for Hout Bay”, Sentinel October 5).
Attending the award ceremony, House of Hope’s Debbie Budlender witnessed a promise from Mr Mabuza to get involved in the organisation, which is being rolled out under the auspices of the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust.
The centre will provide opportunities for disadvantaged children to participate in painting, drawing, drama and exercises that improve their writing and language skills in the main languages of the community (English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa).
The activities will include IT literacy and computer skills, which are essential for full participation in both social and economic aspects of society in the 21st century.
The House of Hope will also house the Denis Goldberg Art Collection, Life is Wonderful, which consists of some 200 works of art by South African artists.