U.S. – South Africa Relationship 50 Years Later

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Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) and President of RFK Human Rights, is visiting South Africa May 30-June 4 to commemorate her father’s historic visit to South Africa in 1966.  Ms. Kennedy will participate in a series of events arranged by U.S. Embassy Pretoria and the U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town.  She is joined by representatives from the Kennedy family, RFK Human Rights, the Faith & Justice Institute, and a delegation from the U.S. Congress, led by Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE).

Speaking at the opening event for the series, a panel presentation hosted by Wits University on May 30 entitled “Ripples of Hope: Robert F. Kennedy’s Historic 1966 Visit to South Africa – Its Significance Then and Now,” Ambassador Gaspard said, “We are honored to commemorate the 50th anniversary of RFK’s visit to South Africa, in particular, his historic ‘Ripples of Hope’ speech.  His words continue to ring true and bring inspiration to Americans and South Africans.  They created a current that continues today in the strong relationship shared by our two countries.  The visit by Kerry Kennedy reminds us of the longstanding friendship we have shared, exemplifies the support of principled Americans for the anti-apartheid movement, and reminds us of the great leadership of individual citizens in both countries during a dark period of history.”

​Kerry Kennedy added, “My father came to South Africa in 1966 to listen and to learn.  We are here today, 50 years later, to listen and learn also.  We look forward to learning the lessons South Africa has for our country and for the rest of the world.​  It’s hard to think of a country that has endured more pain and suffering than South Africa, but as a human rights activist, I have tremendous optimism about the present and the future.”

Commemorative events will continue throughout the week across South Africa.  The delegation will travel to KZN, where they will visit the Luthuli museum and attend a public screening of the documentary “RFK in the Land of Apartheid:  A Ripple of Hope.”  In Gauteng, they will participate a roundtable discussion at Liliesleaf Farm with senior anti-apartheid struggle veterans, before traveling to Cape Town for a keynote address by Kerry Kennedy hosted by Cape Town University.

Photo: Fotolia
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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May 30 (Monday), 2016 |

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