South African Communist Party Gives Peace Prize to Venezuelan President
By James Suggett
December 18, 2009 - Venezuelanalysis.com
The South African Communist Party SACP gave its highest award, the Chris Hani Peace Prize, to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this week in recognition of Chavez's leadership in the worldwide struggle against imperialism and for socialism.
Chavez was chosen to receive the award because he is "a principal fighter in the anti-imperialist struggle, the Bolivarian Revolution, and for his commitment to the struggle for the peace, solidarity, and socialism of the working class," said SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande.
Nzimande presented the award to Venezuelan Ambassador to South Africa Antonio Montilla during a SACP conference in Polokwane, South Africa.
Upon accepting the prize before a crowd of party members and other leaders and activists from the African National Congress (ANC), Montilla said Chavez "would accept with humility and much gratitude the recognition of a party that forms part of the governing tripartite alliance of South Africa," and that the award "would undoubtedly be received as a challenge and a motivation."
The award is named after former SACP General Secretary Martin Thembisile, who was known as Chris Hani and was assassinated in 1993. Current South African President Jacob Zuma of the governing ANC party attended the conference and congratulated Chavez for the award.
The Chavez government has strengthened diplomatic relations with South Africa and many other African countries in recent years. In September, Venezuela hosted the Africa-South America Summit, during which countries from the two continents increased economic cooperation and created the Radio of the South, which has the mission of unifying revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggles among Global South countries.