Walk to honour Madiba’s dream of freedom
Stalwart uses launch to lash bad MPs disrupting parly
OUTH Africa will never reach its destination for real freedom without achieving economic emancipation to help ease the misery of poverty and deprivation facing many citizens.
This was the unambiguous message by ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni to his comrades in the government yesterday.
“We have achieved political freedom but we haven’t reached our goal of economic freedom. We can never say we have achieved freedom without the freedom of the economy,” said Mlangeni, who was speaking to The Star on the sidelines of the launch of the Mandela Remembrance Walk in Joburg.
The event was aimed at capturing Mandela’s legacy by retracing the route he had taken from Freedom Park to the Union Buildings, where he lay in state ahead of his funeral in Qunu, Eastern Cape.
The event is scheduled for December 13.
Mlangeni said the remembrance walk should be a reminder of Mandela’s aspiration for real freedom.
“It should be a continuation of Mandela’s long walk to freedom because I don’t think we have achieved our destination to end the (economic) misery that our people are suffering from. Without freedom of the economy, we can’t achieve our goals.”
Mlangeni also spoke openly about the chaotic state of Parliament, which has been characterised by heckling and howling between MPs in the face of the seemingly endless furore over the Nkandla scandal.
He said the behaviour of some MPs would have shamed Mandela and other freedom stalwarts.
“There are some people who are putting up obstacles (to achieving true emancipation). See what is happening in Parliament. It’s very disturbing
Sand disgusting. If we ourselves don’t respect that institution, who are we going to respect?” he asked. Mlangeni, who also chairs the ANC’s integrity committee, would not be drawn on the accusations by opposition parties that President Jacob Zuma had repeatedly failed to respond to their questions. Neither would he comment on other scandals associated with Zuma.
About some MPs’ wayward behaviour, he said: “It’s an institution that we must respect (but) people haven’t been disciplined. They are still behaving as if they are fighting for freedom against our erstwhile apartheid government.
“People behave as if they are at a stadium in a rally of some sorts. It (Parliament) needs discipline.”
Mlangeni’s contemporary and fellow liberation stalwart Ahmed Kathrada said the walk “should not just be a physical walk or not just a fun walk”, but something truly dedicated to embracing Mandela’s legacy of courage and dedication.
“Madiba has left a walk of responsibility.
“The major responsibility is for young people to take the responsibility of carrying Madiba’s legacy of sacrifice to service.”
The Mandela Remembrance Walk is a initiative by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
The organisers hope to attract 10 000 people to retrace Mandela’s footsteps by doing a 5km run/walk from Freedom Park to the Union Buildings.
The walk will start at Freedom Park and proceed to Kgosi Mampuru Prison, the Palace of Justice and Lilian Ngoyi Square, and then to Nelson Mandela and Madiba streets to the Union Buildings.
Veterans such as Sophia de Bruyn, Ruth Mompati, Kathrada, Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg and will give narrations at some of the identified sites.
“It’s that generation which has to remind us that there is greatness in this country and that’s what we are being called upon to live up to.
“(As we emulate them), we must never look down upon ourselves and measure ourselves at the height and greatness that they were.” –
SPIRIT PREVAILS: Graça Machel addresses the media and dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the Mandela Remembrance Walk launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton.