Join us Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. for live news and analysis when the Warriors and short-handed San Antonio Spurs battle at Oracle.In theory, the Warriors (37-15) should have an easier time dealing with the Spurs after their coach, Gregg Popovich, decided to rest stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. The “load management” tactic that LeBron James employed against the Warriors on Saturday night.The Spurs (32-23) are in the second game of their annual month-long road trip due to the …
Ramatlhodi was the ANC president’s speechwriter. He recalls a sharp dresser who was meticulous in his attention to detail and unwaveringly dedicated to liberation.Ngoako Ramatlhodi remembers Oliver Tambo as meticulous, in dress and turn of phrase. (Image: Ngoako Ramatlhodi)Amukelani ChaukeThe late struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo was a perfectionist – he was so thorough and meticulous that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he would make his speechwriters rewrite drafts until he was satisfied.In some instances, he would end up only reading the opening paragraphs of the speech and deliver the remainder of his address off-the-cuff.Before the era of computers, former public service and administration minister advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who was a youth activist in his thirties at the time, was appointed speechwriter to the then exiled ANC president at a time when political parties were banned.Between 1987 and 1993 – during which time Tambo’s health took its toll following a stroke in the mid-1980s – Ramatlhodi, who had gained much political insight through his work in youth structures in exile, grew close to Tambo.The president was navigating sensitive political terrain while South Africa was on a knife’s edge and was on the verge of opening negotiations that would dismantle the apartheid regime.In an interview Ramatlhodi said that looking back on that period, writing for a selfless, great struggle stalwart such as Tambo was at times challenging and in some instances, very insightful.The advocate was part of a committee in the Presidency with veteran struggle stalwarts Jack Simons, Edwin Mabitse (real name Edward Mabitsela) and the first Speaker of the democratic parliament Frene Ginwala, who was based in London.“The two of us [Ramatlhodi and Mabitse] were made the president’s speech writers and secretaries and then we formed a committee in the Presidency with Jack Simons.“[We] would be faced with typewriters on a daily basis and the old man was a perfectionist – he would mark us red – there were no computers in those days. So if it is marked red, that means you are going to start afresh on the typewriter all over again.“But he would give us work quite ahead of time. Let’s say he was going to make a speech in May, he would then say a month before we should start drafting that speech, or a month and a half before. Then we kept on taking the drafts to him and he looks at them, asks you questions like ‘Do you understand what you are saying? Do you think the president of the ANC would say this like that?’“If you were properly dressed he would take off his glasses and say: ‘You look so smart.” (Image: Brand South Africa)“Then he puts you back in line and says I think you should articulate this thing this way and this way. And you would go and do a rewrite,” he said.In February, President Jacob Zuma declared 2017 the year of OR Tambo to recognise the struggle stalwart’s contribution to the liberation struggle. Ramatlhodi said Tambo was “a patriot” who cared about language.“He knew the politics, he had the content… He was very passionate about the liberation of our people and even in hard times, when he [fell ill] before 1985, he had a stroke and then we went to this conference in… Zambia and there he said ‘My body is weak; it is limping. But what remains of it shall be consumed in the struggle.’“He was definitely clear that he was going to fall with his boots on and I think that is what happened.”The rise of OR TamboBorn on 27 October 1917 in Kantilla, Bizana, in Mpondoland in the Eastern Cape, Tambo ran an attorney’s practice with Nelson Mandela in central Johannesburg in 1951 before Mandela was banned. This was after he joined the ANC in 1940.In 1953, Tambo’s profile as an anti-apartheid activist rose and he replaced the then national secretary, Walter Sisulu, who had been banned by the government for his role in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. In 1957, Tambo was elected deputy president of the ANC.Subsequent to the Sharpeville Massacre on 21 March 1960, Tambo embarked on a Mission in Exile to gain international support for the South African liberation movement. He became ANC president in 1969, a position he kept until 1991, making him the longest-serving president of the ANC.Ramatlhodi handed the penIn the late 1980s he recruited Ramatlhodi as his private secretary and speechwriter. At the time, Ramatlhodi was head of the ANC’s Regional Political and Military Council of the Zimbabwe Mission. He had spent time in Lesotho, where he was the student representative council (SRC) president at the National University of Lesotho. Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni was the secretary responsible for publicity in the same student body.Usually, Ramatlhodi would travel to Angola for military training and return to Lesotho to continue his studies. But on one occasion, he was told to go to Lusaka in Zambia because he “was needed” there.He was taken to the ANC’s headquarters in exile, where the liberation movement’s top officials were waiting for him, as was Mboweni.Ramatlhodi and Mboweni were briefed about what has taking place in Lesotho. Times were tense: the South African Defence Force had massacred ANC members in Lesotho, Botswana and Mozambique.Their appointment as envoys was mainly the result of the access they had to frontline leaders and ministers, including the prime minister of Lesotho at the time, through their SRC positions.Ramatlhodi was later deported from Lesotho and was sent to Russia. There, he did military combat work and on his return to Africa, he was put in charge of the council in the Zimbabwe Mission, when the ANC was devising a strategy to start negotiations with the apartheid regime.In 1987, he was appointed speechwriter to Tambo and formed part of the team that went on to draft the Harare Declaration.The Constitutional PrinciplesRamatlhodi said one of the most important documents he wrote under Tambo’s watch was the Constitutional Principles, which he co-drafted under the ANC Constitutional Committee to define a debate on the country’s new constitution.“We used to write [a lot of documents] but one of them had to do with the conditions for negotiations, which was a statement issued by the ANC on the conditions of negotiations, release of political prisoners, the unbanning of political organisations, all those things.“There are many, many documents that I wrote. For example, the Constitutional Principles of the region, which I participated in even when I was in Harare.”The Harare DeclarationIn 1989, Ramatlhodi was part of the team that drafted the liberation movement’s Harare Declaration, a historic paper that laid the basis for negotiations between the apartheid regime and the liberation movement.He said this was one of the most important pieces of writing that he was part of as Tambo’s speechwriter.“When we were drafting the Harare Declaration in 1989, we did a tour of the frontline seat – …Tanzania, Zimbabwe… for a week.“What happened was we wrote a draft… and sent it to people in South Africa and the neighbouring states for their comment and then we followed up to engage with the authorities so that they made their inputs into the final outcome of that document.”After the roadshow, they returned to Luanda in Angola to draft the final document before proceeding to Lusaka. In the group was former president Thabo Mbeki; ANC strategist and former head of policy and in the co-ordinating advisory unit in the Presidency Joel Netshitendzhe; intellectual and activist Pallo Jordan, former member of parliament and minister; and former justice minister Penuell Maduna.Ramatlhodi said Tambo was of the opinion that the document underemphasised the role of the armed struggle in the liberation war. He instructed Ramatlhodi to return to the team and raise the view as his own.“That’s Oliver Tambo for you. He did not want it to come from him because they would easily be persuaded because the president said so. So I had to go argue on that point on his behalf. So it illustrates the point that he was not self-imposing,” he said.The stroke and the comeback speechTambo suffered a mild stroke in 1981; eight years later, on 9 August 1989, he suffered a more severe stroke in Lusaka and was rushed to London. During his recovery, Ramatlhodi was sent to the British capital to help him regain his speech, as Tambo was only comfortable with people familiar to him.“Towards December that year the ANC was going to have a conference in South Africa, so I went back to help him regain his speech because he was comfortable with familiar surroundings.“We prepared the speech, which was a comeback speech, after 27 years, and he delivered it at the ANC conference at Nasrec, which was the first legal ANC conference in South Africa since 1960.“I showed him that speech on the machine manually. But the good thing about him – he was a fighter – by the time he returned [to South Africa], he was reading the speech. And he made many other speeches across the country subsequently,” said Ramatlhodi, who was 39 at the time.This followed then state president FW de Klerk unbanning all anti-apartheid political parties in February 1990, paving the way for negotiations that would end apartheid.Tambo delivered the speech on 16 December 1990 at a rally following the close of the ANC elective conference. It was at this gathering that Mandela was elected Tambo’s deputy president.In his speech, Tambo said: “South Africa is at the crossroads. Our struggle, complemented by efforts of the international community, has rendered apartheid unworkable. Thus, those who rule us without our consent have been compelled to accept the humanity of a black person in this country. For the first time in a period of 70 years, the legitimate aspirations of the overwhelming majority of our people have possibilities of being realised.”Tambo made several more speeches written by Ramatlhodi and at the ANC’s 48th National Conference in Durban in July 1991, he delivered what seemed to be a farewell speech in his opening address. He later told delegates of his intention to step down, urging them to support Mandela as his successor.After he declined a nomination to be president again, delegates created the national chairperson position in honour of Tambo.In the early hours of 24 April 1993, Tambo suffered his third and fatal stroke – two weeks after the assassination of Chris Hani, then leader of the SA Communist Party and Umkhonto we Sizwe chief of staff.Tambo the smart dresserRamatlhodi said while it was usually all hard work and putting pen to paper to craft speeches and document what would later become the liberation movement’s most-prized possessions, he remembered an ANC president who was a smart dresser.“He loved his clothes. And he wanted us to dress very well. If you were shabbily dressed he would look at you and [ask] ‘Ngoako, don’t you have clothes?’“I remember on one trip [during] the Harare Declaration, I don’t think I had enough suits with me. He called the late Stanley Mabizela and said ‘Take this man to town and buy him clothes.’ He gave him money. I got about three nice suits that day.“If you were properly dressed he would take off his glasses and say: ‘You look so smart.’”One of Ramatlhodi’s favourite phrases from the speeches he wrote was “United in our diversity”.“That line comes from a paragraph in our speech where we say: ‘We seek to create a united, democratic and non-racial society. We have a vision of a South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity.’ Tambo made this speech at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on 27 January 1987. At this time, South Africa was at the height of the armed struggle.”Following his time as Tambo’s speechwriter, Ramatlhodi stayed on in the office of the Presidency when Mandela for about six months after Mandela took over. This was while Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, embarked on a world tour as ANC president.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Handicapped by a dislocated thumb and up against a two-time world champion, Indian boxer Vijender Singh on Monday said he still managed to pull off the Asian Games gold medal as “luck was back” on his side a month after deserting him at the Commonwealth Games.Vijender Kumar flaunts his gold medalWorld number one Vijender blanked Uzbekistan’s two-time world champion Abbos Atoev in the Asian Games final despite dislocating his thumb in the opening three minutes of the bout.Recalling the tense moments, the 25-year-old, whose hand is currently heavily bandaged, said a power-packed left hook led to the dislocation and leaving him to fight practically with one hand.”My hand was in a terrible state even before the Asian Games but it completely broke at the worst possible time.It was in the closing stages of the first round. I got the score for that left hook but I knew my hand was gone. I immediately told my coach that I cannot move it,” Vijender said upon his return to the country from Guangzhou today.”I asked the coach what the scoreline was, he told me it was 2-0. I thought I will give it a shot and continued. In the second round, I was not using my left hand at all. I was just swaying it once in a while to scare off Atoev, who thankfully didn’t get an idea as to what had happened,” he said.”When I took a 5-0 lead in the second round, I knew the bout was mine from here. I kept praying to almighty and I think that also helped. In the end, I guess I got lucky, god was with me,” he added.advertisementThe Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist had settled for a rather disappointing bronze at the CWG here after losing in the semifinals due to a couple of warnings for clinching. And Vijender said the Asiad gold has finally wiped off the disappointment. .”That loss completely shattered me. I hadn’t felt so miserable in a long time. When I went to the Asiad, I was taking it one bout at a time. I think I peaked at the right time besides China is lucky for me. My rise started in Beijing after all,” Vijender said referring to his breakthrough Olympic bronze.”At the CWG, there were just too many distractions around me. The fact that so many people know me becomes a problem at times because then it takes away the focus. I like to go into a shell during major events. Keep to myself and focus, at the Asiad I could do that. There was peace around me and that helped me remain calm,” he said.”Moreover, it was my day. When I lost to Atoev in the World Championships, it was his day. Luck is a major factor.One cannot rule that out,” he added.”My toughest bout was the first one. I took the Chinese Taipei guy lightly initially but he fought hard before I got into the groove at just the right time.”The Haryana-lad also credited Cuban coach B I Fernandes for his success. “Fernandes has a sharp mind and he keeps giving advice from the sidelines. In Guangzhou, because there was not much noise around me, I could actually hear him and put his advice to use. In Delhi, his voice used to get drowned in all the hooting,” he explained. At least a month-long break follows from here before Vijender starts preparing for the World Championships and the Olympic qualifiers for 2012 Games in London. “I am desperate to go home and eat to my heart’s content. It’s impossible to explain what we go through when we are maintaining weight for tournaments,” he signed off.With inputs from PTI
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Birkenhead-born Lewis Warrington inks Everton dealby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBirkenhead-born Lewis Warrington has signed his first professional contract with Everton.The youngster has put pen-to-paper on a deal which will keep him with the Blues until June 2022.The 17-year-old has been at Everton for 11 years.”I’ve put in a lot of hard work and sacrifices, so to make this next step and sign a pro deal means everything,” Warrington, a season-ticket holder in the Gwladys Street, told evertonfc.com.”I’ve been at Everton for 11 years and the support has been immense from the start.”The coaching I’ve had here has been incredible. Every coach I have had has added something to my game.”They’ve helped make me the player I am, and I’ve got to keep going.”
Wolves legend Bull hails Traore for victory at Man Cityby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves legend Steve Bull has hailed the impact of two-goal Adama Traore for victory at Manchester City last week.He wrote for the Express & Star: “Adama Traore’s finishing was top-class as well.”He has had a lot of criticism during his time at the club, with people saying it’s all 100mph with him – too fast.”He took his goals absolutely brilliantly, though. He slotted them away like a true goalscorer. Some might think they were easy finishes. Trust me, they weren’t.”Traore could have fluffed his lines and smacked the ball into the row Z, but he knew where he wanted to put the ball and placed it past the keeper with confidence both times.”Raul Jimenez set each of them up, of course, and I thought he was excellent as well, constantly making himself available.”It was a delight to see him run at the City backline and take on Nicolas Otamendi in the build-up to Traore’s first. It’s something we expect to see from Diogo Jota, not Jimenez.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Auburn Basketball ClassAs of roughly 12 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Auburn’s men’s basketball program has the best recruiting class in the SEC for 2016. Yes, you read that correctly. The Tigers, after receiving the commitment of five-star small forward Mustapha Heron, have rose in 247 Sports’ Team Rankings to the top of the SEC and No. 7 in the country. Auburn has three commitments in the class: Heron, three-star point guard Jared Harper and three-star Anfernee McLemore. Now, there is a long way to go before teams are done recruiting for 2016. Kentucky will surely add multiple elite recruits to its class and probably end up with the top class in the conference. But, for a little while, Bruce Pearl’s program can claim to be at the top of the SEC recruiting mountain, and that’s pretty cool.
Story Highlights The Jamaican team was once again able to stamp its authority as the sprint capital of the world My heartiest congratulations on a performance which went beyond our wildest expectations Let us as a people continue to give all the necessary support to our athletes From China, where Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is now on an official visit and with the Jamaican athletes returning home from the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, the Prime Minister has issued the following congratulatory message:“I wish to extend to the entire team, the coaches and management staff, on behalf of a most grateful nation, my heartiest congratulations on a performance which went beyond our wildest expectations.Let us not forget that when the team departed Jamaica the discussion, at home and abroad, largely centered around the unfortunate and regrettable developments involving some of our senior athletes.Despite such developments the Jamaican team was once again able to stamp its authority as the sprint capital of the world at the World Championships, indicating the fierce determination, competitive spirit and never say die attitude of our people.As I commend the entire team for their proud and commendable representation of Jamaica at these Championships, I wish, without taking away from the contribution of all the athletes, to single out the superhuman efforts of Usain Bolt, Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce and the young Javon Francis.Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce between them were largely responsible for Jamaica’s six gold medals. In both the male and female sprint categories they were the performers at the Championships, once again demonstrating that Jamaica has the capacity and capability to outperform larger and more powerful countries at this level.From a Jamaican perspective, it would be difficult not to rank Javon Francis’ unbelievable 400m run at the Championships, with that of some of the Jamaican greats, in whose footsteps he now follows.Let us as a people continue to give all the necessary support to our athletes and use their performances as a motivation in our personal lives. As they donned the black, green and gold colours on the track at the World Championships it was clear that they were not only about personal success, but also about representing their country proudly and passionately.As a Government, we will continue to play our part in ensuring that, in keeping with available resources, track and field is given the attention and support it deserves, as we pursue policies and programmes to further develop the country’s rich sport programme”.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and three time Grammy Award winner, Angelique Kidjo, met with Syrian and Lebanese youth in refugee settlements in Lebanon to mark World Youth Skills Day on Saturday 15 July.Angelique Kidjo engages with children in the Housh el Refka informal settlement, Bekaa ValleyCredit/Copyright: UNICEF//Ibarra Sanchez“Supporting the hopes of children and young people has never been more important – Their future is our future” said Angelique Kidjo after speaking to Syrian and Lebanese children and young people in the Bekaa Valley.To mark World Youth Skills Day, Kidjo visited projects implemented by a UNICEF youth partner, the Lebanese NGO LOST (Lebanese Organisation for Studies and Training) in and around Zahle in the Bekaa valley. Kidjo spoke to the children and young people about the challenges they face in pursuing an education, finding opportunities, living in refugee settlements and breaking down barriers between the two communities.Kidjo took part in a Life Skills Training and attended focus group discussions with young women whose lives have been improved thanks to a practical skills training, preparing them for the job market.“Meeting with the girls and boys, the young men and women, you sense how hard they need to fight to hold on to a hope of a dignified future in their circumstances, At the same time, you know that what they need is within reach. Today I’ve actually seen how the training provided is bearing fruit, improving the lives of these inspiring young men and women,” Kidjo said.Lebanon, a country which already faces a number of challenges, has been heavily affected by the conflict in neighbouring Syria. More than one in four people in the country are now refugees; the highest proportion per capita of any country in the world.The sheer number of refugees is putting an enormous strain on the labour market and the education sector, with general poverty on the rise.“Some of the most pressing issues facing Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian youth are deprivation, discrimination and even a fear of the other. That’s why UNICEF is bringing together youth from all communities, particularly girls and young women, equipping them with skills and knowledge that enable them to participate in the labor market, as well as overcome persistent social and cultural divides,” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative of UNICEF Lebanon.On a regional level, more than six years into an unprecedented turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, the optimism among young Arabs is waning, they feel overlooked by policymakers, and see unemployment and extremisms as the biggest problems in the region. Youth in Lebanon, be they Lebanese, Syrian or Palestinian, are no exception from the rule and often don’t have the opportunity of playing an active, positive role in the society they live in.There are one million people aged between 15 and 24 in Lebanon, or one in six. Among Lebanese youth, the unemployment rate is 35%. The picture of opportunities facing Syrian youth is even bleaker. Only a small minority is able to generate an income, and more than nine in ten Syrians aged 15-24 are not enrolled in any formal education. Building skills and capacity, and empowering youth is therefore a driving principle of UNICEF’s work in Lebanon.“If you want to build a durable foundation for stability in the future in the Middle East, what do you do? You work with youth and you make sure they get an education and the means of securing what’s needed for them to live a decent life,” said Kidjo, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002.
By beating perhaps the greatest player of all time on his favorite surface in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, Novak Djokovic didn’t just retake the No. 1 ranking. He also surpassed his coach and his opponent’s coach by winning his seventh career Grand Slam title.Roger Federer — whom Djokovic beat in a thrilling five-set final Sunday — and Rafael Nadal have set an intimidatingly high standard for success in contemporary men’s tennis. Djokovic has seven Grand Slam titles, an impressive haul but far short of Federer’s 17 and Nadal’s 14, which is tied for second all-time with Pete Sampras. If Djokovic’s Grand Slam career hadn’t coincided with those of two of the all time greats, he might have 12 major titles.Djokovic might never approach the totals of his illustrious peers, but he achieved another significant milestone Sunday: His seventh major title puts him in front of the six won by his coach, Boris Becker, and Federer’s coach, Stefan Edberg. Those two men and Djokovic are among eight in the Open era with between six and eight Grand Slam titles. The other five are Andre Agassi; occasional TV commentators Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander; and Ivan Lendl, Andy Murray’s former coach.Djokovic, 27, is starting to look like one of the best of this impressive group — with several years of his prime likely still in front of him in a sport where age has become an advantage.Djokovic has the highest Grand Slam winning percentage of the group, and isn’t far behind overall leader Connors in tour-level winning percentage. Though he still has years of competition ahead of him, Djokovic already ranks near the middle of the eight greats in Grand Slam titles, finals, semifinals and match wins, plus weeks at No. 1 — a total he’ll add to starting Monday, when he retakes the top ranking from Nadal. He has a more well-rounded Grand Slam resume than most, with titles at three of the events and two finals at the fourth, the French Open. Only Agassi, who won all four Grand Slam tournaments at least once; and Lendl, who reached two finals at Wimbledon, can match Djokovic there. Djokovic doesn’t look as good on overall match wins, titles and finals, though he has already passed Wilander in all three categories. (Stats via ATP World Tour website, Tennis Abstract and tennis-x.com.)Oh, and even before the end of Sunday’s final, Djokovic had the endorsement of Andy Roddick, the most recent American man to reach the No. 1 ranking and win a major:These numbers don’t account for the degree of difficulty of Djokovic’s accomplishment. The seven greats whose company he keeps had to contend with great rivals, but none had to consistently face Nadal on clay, or Federer on grass. As great as Federer is off grass — winning four of every five matches — he has been even greater on it, winning seven of every eight matches in his career. Even at 32, Federer was near his best on Sunday, and Djokovic was better.“To be able to win against him as one of my greatest rivals on this occasion on a court that he’s been dominating for so many years makes it a very special trophy for me,” Djokovic said in his press conference after the match.Djokovic has now beaten Federer and Nadal at nearly every one of the Grand Slams — he’s missing only the long-sought win over Nadal in Paris. If Djokovic gets that win and a French Open title, he’ll start moving to a level beyond the already impressive company he keeps now with his coach.
OSU sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe (10) makes a play on the ball during a match against Florida Gulf Coast Sept. 6 at St. John Arena. OSU won 3-1.Credit: Emily Yarcusko / For The LanternAfter a failed comeback attempt at No. 17 Minnesota last week, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team was swept by No. 5 Wisconsin on Sunday.Once the match began, momentum was with Wisconsin (10-2, 1-1), but the Buckeyes (9-5, 0-2) clawed their way back into each of the three sets.In the first set, the Buckeyes and Badgers started off in a close battle until a 17-13 Badger lead turned into a 25-19 set win.In the first half of the second set, the Buckeyes were down by as many as five points, but failed to get enough back-to-back points as the Badgers kept scoring. Wisconsin won again, 25-19.As the Buckeyes were outplayed in the two sets, the team headed into the third looking to have similar results to the match against the Gophers. While the Buckeyes hadn’t won a set, they still had time to pull off an upset.But instead of playing with a sense of urgency like against Minnesota, the Buckeyes saw themselves down 7-0, and eventually down 17-5.However, OSU went on a 12-8 run to close the gap. But it was too late, as the Badgers went on to complete a clean sweep winning the third set, 25-17.Junior outside hitter Katie Mitchell led the Buckeyes in kills with nine, senior setter Taylor Sherwin led with 23 assists and senior defensive specialist Alyssa Winner had 18 digs.Badger senior outside hitter and defensive specialist Deme Morales, a native of Amherst, Ohio, had seven digs in the match.The Buckeyes are scheduled have back-to-back games this week at Iowa and No. 8 Nebraska. The Iowa game is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m., while the Nebraska game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m.