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In the context of OR Tambo Centenary Celebration, the South African Embassy in Paris organises on 16 November 2017 a conference on Oliver Tambo whose main speakers are Ms Jacqueline Derens, anti-apartheid activist and author of the book “Dulcie September”, and Ms Euzhan Palcy, filmmaker, director and producer of “A White Dry Season”, rewarded with the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Silver. The two speeches will be followed by a video in OR Tambo.


Oliver Tambo (1917-1993) was the president of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1967 to 1991. He spent more than 30 years in exile.



Oliver Tambo was born on October 27 1917 in the village of Kantolo in Bizana, Pondoland. He was a bright student and leader from the start. He wanted to study medicine after school, but was not allowed to because of apartheid laws that prevented black people from studying medicine.  He then opted to study a BSc degree in physics and mathematics at the then College of Fort Hare.  Around this time, Tambo served as secretary-general of the student representative council, which led a policy of non-cooperation with university authorities that saw him being expelled. Tambo and his family went into exile at the request of the leadership of the ANC. It was during this time that he went around the world to drum up support and solidarity for the fight against apartheid.  For most of the time he spent in exile, he served as an ANC leader. After the ANC was unbanned in 1990, Tambo and his family returned to South Africa. At the 1991 conference of the ANC, in true Tambo fashion, he declined to stand for any position, although he could have done so using his struggle credentials. The conference resolved to create the position of national chairperson in his honour. He died on April 23 1993 without having the honour of tasting the fruits of the freedom for which he fought. He was honoured with a state funeral.


The speakers:

Jacqueline Derens is a French writer and translator. Former English teacher, she became an anti-apartheid activist in the 70s. In 1979, she met with Dulcie September who became a close friend of her’s. From 1986 to 1994 she was secretary general of Rencontre Nationale contre l’apartheid. In1994, Jacqueline Derens founded the association RENAPAS, (Rencontre avec le Peuple d’Afrique du Sud). In 2012, she published a book on the ANC representative to France assassinated in Paris on March 29th1988. Jacqueline Derens often met South African leaders and among them Nelson Mandela with whom she had discussions on several occasions.


Euzhan Palcy is a French film director, writer and producer. She raised awareness about South African social injustices by converting the anti-apartheid novel of Andre Brink: “A Dry White Season” into film (1989). At that time, she travelled to South Africa defying the special section of the apartheid regime. Last Avril, she was bestowed the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Silver for "her excellent contribution to the liberation struggle by exposing South African social injustices through an international film that strengthened the revolution against apartheid."








Thursday 16 November 2017 at 18:00, Club Confair, 54, rue Laffitte 75009 Paris