The road that lib­er­a­tion took

De Waal Drive re­named Phillip Ngosana Drive, the PAC ac­tivist who led his­toric march from Langa to Cape Town

The New Age (Western Cape) - - News - NA­DINE FORD- KRITZINGER nadinef@the­newage.co.za

SOUTH Africa’s cur­rent lead­ers should avoid re­sort­ing to bully tac­tics that were the legacy of apartheid.

This was the warn­ing by Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Njon­gonkulu Ndun­gane yes­ter­day.

He was speak­ing at a func­tion to re­name De Waal Drive to Philip Kgosana Drive in hon­our of the late Pan African­ist Con­gress (PAC) stal­wart.

The event fol­lowed a de­ci­sion by Cape Town city coun­cil to hon­our the PAC leader who died early this year in Pre­to­ria af­ter a short ill­ness.

Ndun­gane re­called the event just over 57 years ago when be­tween 30000 to 50 000 peo­ple pro­test­ers from Langa to the then po­lice head­quar­ters at Cale­don Square, which saw the emer­gence of Kgosana as an in­flu­en­tial anti­apartheid ac­tivist and leader.

He said event was set squarely within the stir­ring move­ment brought into be­ing by Robert Sobukwe, the leader of the Pan African­ist Con­gress, an event that was crit­i­cal to the cam­paign against “the vi­cious pass laws”.

“This was a sem­i­nal mo­ment in the his­tory of our land and our con­ti­nent.

“It is in the con­text of com­mem­o­rat­ing this African­ist move­ment that this event, of re­nam­ing a high­way, is of great sig­nif­i­cance since it gives ev­ery­one an op­por­tu­nity to re­call the courage, vi­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the mass of peo­ple who em­barked on the pil­grim­age march from Langa.” The march had taken place in a peace­ful, or­derly and dis­ci­plined fash­ion, there had been no ston­ing or vi­o­lence by those who par­tic­i­pated in it. It was an age in which hu­man rights were not only tram­pled on, but the right to dis­agree peace­fully was firmly re­jected by the apartheid gov­ern­ment, Ndun­gane said.

“This was epit­o­mised on that day by the ar­rest of Kgosana af­ter he had been duped into ask­ing us all to dis­perse peace­fully. “Such was the cyn­i­cism, the chi­canery and bul­ly­ing tac­tics of the gov­ern­ment of the time.”

Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia De Lille, who also at­tended the cer­e­mony yes­ter­day, said it was an hon­our for all South Africans to cel­e­brate Kgosana whom she de­scribed as a gen­tle gi­ant and who would have cel­e­brated his 81 birth­day yes­ter­day.Kgosana spent some of his youth days in Langa and, as a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Cape Town, he rose to promi­nence in pol­i­tics in Cape Town as the re­gional sec­re­tary of the PanAfrican­ist Con­gress. For these rea­sons, “he was a son of Cape Town”.

“He was a hum­ble man, a ser­vant of this coun­try, who sac­ri­ficed a lot in his life for what he be­lieved in, the lib­er­a­tion of the peo­ple of South Africa from the op­pres­sive apartheid regime.

“Kgosana was more than just a free­dom fighter. He was a hu­man rights ac­tivist and af­ter be­ing forced into ex­ile he con­tin­ued his stud­ies.

“He went on to work for the UN Chil­dren’s Fund and worked with refugees where he earned in­ter­na­tional com­men­da­tion for his two decades of ded­i­cated ser­vice.

“This is a man who at the ten­der age of 23 led 30000, many of them older than him, on a march against the un­just apartheid gov­ern­ment’s pass laws.

“That march from Langa to the Cape Town cen­tral po­lice sta­tion passed through this road we’re stand­ing on at the mo­ment. This was a turn­ing point in the his­tory of our coun­try.”

De Lille said it was there­fore fit­ting that they were hon­our­ing his great sac­ri­fice for the lib­er­a­tion of this coun­try by re­nam­ing De Waal Drive af­ter him.

“On that fate­ful day in March 1960, Kgosana showed his man­tle as a young man and stead­fast leader when he chose peace­ful en­gage­ment in the face of a tense sit­u­a­tion.”

Kenya bans protests from city cen­tres

NAIROBI: Kenya yes­ter­day banned demon­stra­tions in the busi­ness dis­tricts of Nairobi and other cities amid a stand­off be­tween the rul­ing party and the op­po­si­tion over a re­peat pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Fred Ma­tiang’i said the ban ap­plied to the cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts of the cap­i­tal, the western city of Kisumu and the coastal city of Mom­basa. The or­gan­is­ers of protests would be held per­son­ally li­able for any dam­age, he said. Mom­basa and Kisumu are strongholds of op­po­si­tion sup­port and op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga also has strong back­ing in parts of Nairobi. All three have seen re­peated clashes be­tween riot po­lice and op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers in re­cent weeks. – Reuters

Baby rhino gal­lops into pub­lic view

SIN­GA­PORE: A baby white rhino has made his first foray into the spot­light, gal­lop­ing into a pub­lic en­clo­sure at Sin­ga­pore Zoo af­ter be­ing given a name – Oban, which means King in the African Yoruba lan­guage. The calf had spent the first few weeks of his life bond­ing with his mother in pri­vate, but when he reached one-month old, zookeep­ers de­cided it was time to in­tro­duce Oban to the pub­lic en­clo­sure, home to another six white rhi­nos. Af­ter mov­ing in early Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the cu­ri­ous young­ster frol­icked around and chased birds as he got to know his new sur­round­ings. His mother, Donsa, who is 32 years old and has had 11 calves, kept a watch­ful eye. Ini­tially he will spend just two hours a day in the pub­lic eye. – AFP

Swiss flush­ing away mil­lions in gold

ZURICH: While Lon­don’s sew­ers can get clogged with fat­bergs made up of grease and nap­pies, it seems Switzer­land’s waste sys­tem is flecked with sil­ver and gold. Re­searchers last year de­tected three tons of sil­ver and 43 kg of gold in ef­flu­ent and sludge from waste wa­ter treat­ment plants – amount­ing to around 3 mil­lion Swiss francs (R42m). But be­fore peo­ple start hunt­ing in their drains for jewellery, the gov­ern­ment study said the tiny par­ti­cles were likely to be mostly from the watch­mak­ing, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and chem­i­cal in­dus­tries, which use the me­tals in their prod­ucts and pro­cesses. “You hear sto­ries about an an­gry man or woman throw­ing jewellery down the toi­let, but we didn’t find any rings, un­for­tu­nately,” re­port au­thor Bas Vriens said yes­ter­day. – Reuters

NEW BE­GIN­NING: Prom­i­nent Capeto­ni­ans at a func­tion to re­name De Waal Drive, Philip Kgosana Drive.

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