Today in history: Mandela hosts a banquet in honor of Fidel Castro

Today in history: Mandela hosts a banquet in honor of Fidel Castro

- Twenty-three years ago today SA's first black president, Nelson Mandela hosted a banquet in honor of Cuban Prime Minister, Fidel Castro

- Cuba, led by Castro, played a significant role in freeing black South Africans from the white minority rule

- A Cuban army twice defeated the South African army, marking both instances the first-ever time South Africa's army faced defeat

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Fidel Castro is seen as a national hero here in SA. The roles he played in helping black Africans overcome the forces of apartheid have been widely recognised. This is why when the opportunity availed itself, SA's first black president, Nelson Mandela, decided to have a banquet to honor the outstanding leader that is Fidel Castro.

The banquet took place on the 3rd of September, 1998.

Not only did a Cuban army, led by Castro, take on the apartheid South African army, they also managed to defeat them. Not once but twice, the first defeat came in 1976 and then again in 1988. A feat that still gives the white apartheid regime generals the chills.

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Since 1996 South Africa has been a beneficiary of Cuban medical internationalism. Between 1996 and 2002, more than 450 Cuban doctors and medical lecturers were deployed in South Africa and about a hundred South African students a year are trained in Cuba before finishing their studies in South Africa.

Today in history: Mandela hosts a banquet in honor of Fidel Castro

Nelson Mandela goes in for a hug from Fidel Castro. Source: Facebook/Nelson Mandela
Source: Facebook

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"You will not need my words, Mr President, to sense the special place that the Cuban people occupy in the hearts of millions of South Africans. That you will know from the warmth of their welcome when you joined us four years ago for the inauguration of our democracy, and from today's rousing reception in our Parliament.
"If today all South Africans enjoy the rights of democracy; if they are able at last to address the grinding poverty of a system that denied them even the most basic amenities of life, it is also because of Cuba's selfless support for the struggle to free all of South Africa's people and the countries of our region from the inhumane and destructive system of apartheid.
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"For that, we thank the Cuban people from the bottom of our heart." said Mr. Mandela during his speech at the momentous occasion. wrote SA's beloved president, Nelson Mandela during his speech at the banquet.

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Briefly.co.za also reported, World superstar Beyoncé is celebrating her 39th birthday today. The hashtag #BeyDay is trending as thousands of the songstresses fans have taken to Twitter to wish her a happy birthday.

The successful musician's fans have been sharing her pics and videos on the micro-blogging app since Friday morning.

The US singer, songwriter, dancer, and filmmaker was born on 4 September 1981 in Houston, Texas. She shot to fame in the late '90s as the lead singer of hit group Destiny's Child. Before that, Bey had performed in various singing and dancing competitions.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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