Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has been gowned by the Government of Liberia and the traditional council in Liberia.
The Traditional Council of Liberia also named Mr. Mbeki Chief Tamba Taylor, in honor of the late prominent Liberian traditional leader for his contribution to Liberia and Africa at large.
Performing the gowning ceremony at a dinner on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at the Foreign Ministry, the Head of the Traditional Council of Liberia Chief Zanzan Karwao praised the former South African head of State for his numerous contributions.
Chief Karwao said Tamba Taylor is a popular name in Liberia because of his contribution to agricultural sector of the country.
Speaking on behalf of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Justice Minister Christiana Tah also showered praises on Mr. Mbeki for role in bringing peace to Liberia.
"Mr. President, when this country was tearing itself apart in a senseless civil war, you devoted you energies and moral leadership personally, and the resources and influence of your great country South Africa in the search for peace; you contributed toward the implementation of the Accra peace agreement signed by all stakeholders in the Liberian peace process. "
"You even flew here personally in August 2003 during the transition from war to peace when the situation became critical and there was no certainty as to which way the pendulum would swing. You helped to ensure that the transition was smooth and irreversible," noted Minister Tah.
She said following that most scary moment, the Republic of South Africa, under Mbeki leadership, made significant cash contribution toward the disarmament and demobilization of former combatants, thus paving the way for the creation of a new, professional army for the entire country. She noted that Liberia owes a lot to South Africa for her numerous contributions to peace here.
In response, Mr. Mbeki said he was not too surprise for the honor, noting that both citizens of Liberia and South Africa are all the same African citizens. He said as Africans, there should be no border that stops another African from entering other African states.
He noted that Liberia has also been helpful during the South African apartheid regime, saying "Liberia did not turn us down during our Apartheid crisis so we are all one people."