Noureddine Djoudi (Algeria)
The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in
Noureddine Djoudi (Algeria) Awarded for:
His steadfast support of the South African liberation movement during the hard times of oppression. He stood in firm solidarity with the stalwarts of the liberation struggle and sacrificed much to support the realisation of democracy.
Profile of Mr Noureddine Djoudi (Algeria)
Mr Noureddine Djoudi stands out as an Algerian who enjoyed the closest ties with the African National Congress (ANC) during the struggle for freedom and equality through his total commitment to the liberation of Africa from colonialism and apartheid.
His association with ANC leaders started in early 1962 while Algeria’s liberation war was still on. At that time Djoudi was a freedom fighter and a member of the Algerian National Liberation Army (ALN), where he served as Political Commissar in the General Staff, under the leadership of the late Houari Boumediene, Commander-in-Chief of the ALN.
In 1962, former President Nelson Mandela and Robert Reisha came to meet with the ALN High Command at their headquarters at the Algerian-Moroccan border. Mandela, as Commander-in-Chief of MK, wanted to be acquainted with Algeria’s armed struggle which, in his opinion, could eventually be a source of inspiration for an armed struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. The late Si Djamal (Cherif Belkacem) was faced with the language barrier, since neither of the two ANC leaders could master Arabic or French.
The only English speaking ALN officer happened to be Djoudi, who was then summoned to serve as interpreter. This unexpected and somehow purely "accidental" event marked the start of a long brotherly association between Djoudi and ANC leaders, and his commitment to the anti-apartheid struggle.
Djoudi worked closely with the late Johnny Makhathini who showed a great sense of efficient militant action in the diplomatic field. From 1966 to 1970 Djoudi, as Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, continued to have a close relationship with eminent figures of the anti-apartheid movement, such as ANC President Oliver Tambo and Makhathini, as well as Miriam Makeba.
From 1963 to 1966, as President of the Defence Commission of the Organisation of African Unity’s Liberation Committee, Djoudi engaged in a long partnership with the ANC. Although he did not reject recognition of the Pan Africanist Congress as an authentic nationalist movement, he advised his government to favour the ANC, whose strategy, in the absence of favourable conditions for star ting an armed struggle, seemed more efficient in terms of mobilising world public opinion against the apartheid regime.
Djoudi continues to provide remarkable assistance and support to the South African Embassy and its staff in Algeria. During the production of Mandela’s gun, the biopic film on Mandela’s experience as a guerilla freedom fighter, Djoudi assisted by sharing valuable information regarding Mandela’s 1962 visit to Algeria. He continues to provide assistance to the embassy and fosters the development of relations between our two countries.