Walk to hon­our Madiba’s dream of free­dom

Stal­wart uses launch to lash bad MPs dis­rupt­ing parly

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LEBOGANG SEALE Lebogang Seale

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.

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