Africa, Countries, Culture, Europe

Olof Palme and a South African township

On the face of it you wouldn’t imagine that a Swedish politician would pose much threat to Apartheid South Africa.

Or that his assassination would kickstart enduring links between Sweden www.visitsweden.cim and a Port Elizabeth township.

Olaf Palme, one of the greatest leaders anywhere of his generation, is being talked of again as his killer is on the point of being identified.

Olof Palme Street back in the day in Port Elizabeth

Some 34 years after he was gunned down coming out of a Stockholm cinema after watching a film with his family.

A different time

Olof’s crime – he supported the ANC and wanted to shut down oil and arms supplies to Durban.

At a time when the West was either complicit or diffident in their dealings with South Africa Olof said, and did, the right thing.

Man of peace: Olof Palme.

And the black South Africans have never forgotten that.

In New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, the country’s oldest township they named the street on which the Red Location Museum sits Olof Palme Street.

To the Rainbow Nation

The only residents in South Africa to do so.

Olof’s legacy

Olof’s family have become firm friends and benefactors to the poor, but proud, residents of the Red Location since.

To Nelson Mandela: In PE with Siseko

Which I discovered when I visited Nelson Mandela’s home state, the Eastern Cape last year. and Day in the life of a township and What’s new pussycat?

Further research (and I do go the extra mile for you) reveals that there are two dozen countries where Olof is thus honoured.

Just why Stoke-on-Trent in the English Midlands are the UK’s standard-bearers I’ll just have to get back to you on.

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