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Ms Lucia Raadschelders ((Posthumous (The Netherlands))

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Silver
Ms Lucia Raadschelders ((Posthumous (The Netherlands)) Awarded for:
Her outstanding contribution to the struggle against apartheid. Over many years, she was a reliable friend of our country and post-liberation, she continued to play a critical role in supporting our democracy and archiving our history of the Struggle.
Ms Lucia Raadschelders was an unsung heroine who displayed remarkable selflessness and generosity in everything she did. She personified international solidarity, discipline, humility and commitment to our struggle for democracy, freedom and equality. She followed the revolutionary spirit embodied by President OR Tambo.

As a student and after her studies, Raadschelders threw herself into activism in support of the struggle against apartheid through her work in the Anti-Apartheids Beweging Nederland (AABN) where she worked fulltime from 1979 to 1985.

It was while she was in the AABN that she was recruited to work in support of the ANC’s underground operatives through setting up a house in Swaziland where she provided support to many freedom fighters for nearly two years.

She provided refuge, emotional support, transport and a range of practical forms of support to many of the activists who used Swaziland as a base. In 1988 she moved to Lusaka where she played an invaluable role in relation to the support and communications that underpinned the work of Operation Vula.

From the dawn of democracy, Raadschelders dedicated herself to work that supported both the preservation of our heritage and the legacy of the Struggle as well as supporting platforms that assist civil-society engagement and organisation. She was a valued team member in the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre of Memory.

For the past few years of her life, she struggled with a debilitating illness that limited her movements, yet did not deter her from being called upon whenever needed to share her valuable expertise.

She was a woman of tremendous strength and integrity, with a quiet and unassuming presence that reassured, underpinned and encouraged all around her to do better, be better and work for the dignity of others.