Youth urged to hon­our Mahlangu’s cause

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SAKHILE NDLAZI

THE DEPUTY Min­is­ter for Plan­ning and Mon­i­tor­ing in the Presidency, Buti Manamela, has chal­lenged young peo­ple in South Africa to lead the strug­gle for so­cioe­co­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

Manamela was speak­ing at Solomon Mahlangu’s birthday cel­e­bra­tion in Mamelodi, Tsh­wane, yes­ter­day. Mahlangu, com­monly known as “Kalushi”, would have turned 61 yes­ter­day.

He was hanged in 1979 af­ter be­ing con­victed of mur­der dur­ing Umkhonto weSizwe mis­sions. In March 1978, Mahlangu was found guilty of mur­der and of be­ing a ter­ror­ist.

He was sen­tenced to death by hang­ing. The young ac­tivist was only 23 when he was hanged.

Manamela said the youth must em­u­late Mahlangu as he had strived to change con­di­tions at that time for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“We must be es­tab­lished young en­trepreneurs, we must cre­ate black in­dus­tri­al­ists. It’s not sus­tain­able in any coun­try that the ma­jor­ity is not part of the main­stream econ­omy, it’s an un­sus­tain­able sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

He told at­ten­dees, who in­cluded SRC mem­bers of Wits Univer­sity and the Congress of SA Stu­dents (Cosas), that they must be in the fore­front of the strug­gle for eco­nomic eman­ci­pa­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and equal­ity, among oth­ers.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Thandi Ma­ham­behlala, Deputy Min­is­ter of Trans­port Sin­disiwe Chikunga and Deputy Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Tha­bang Mak­wetla were present at the com­mem­o­ra­tion ser­vice.

Mak­wetla in­sisted that the least the youth could do was to hon­our the brave gen­er­a­tion of young mar­tyrs.

“Your per­sonal de­vel­op­ment is ex­actly what the young Solomon Mahlangu had in mind,” he said, quot­ing the icon: “My blood will nour­ish the tree that will bear the fruits of free­dom. Tell my peo­ple that I love them and they must con­tinue to fight.”

Mak­wetla also told young peo­ple to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by the gov­ern­ment and to use ed­u­ca­tion to con­tinue fight­ing in­jus­tice.

Echo­ing Mak­wetla’s sen­ti­ments was Cosas sec­re­tary-gen­eral Khulekani Skosana, who em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of school and en­trepreneur­ship, say­ing that Mahlangu dab­bled in both.

“Com­rade Mahlangu sold veg­eta­bles to sup­port his fam­ily. He also had the spirit of en­trepreneur­ship, apart from be­ing a free­dom fighter. Let us learn from our com­rade in all as­pects of life. We must be own­ers of pro­duc­tion and not slave away.”

The birthday cel­e­bra­tion com­menced with a lay­ing of wreaths at the Mamelodi West Ceme­tery, fol­lowed by a for­mal pro­gramme at Mahlangu’s home in Mamelodi, where speeches were de­liv­ered. Peo­ple were then taken to Nu Metro Cin­ema at Men­lyn Mall for the screen­ing of Kalushi, a movie on the life of the po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist.

The fam­ily, rep­re­sented by Mtungwa Mahlangu, thanked the ANC for its con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to­wards en­sur­ing that Kalushi’s sac­ri­fices were an in­te­gral part of the his­tory of South Africa’s lib­er­a­tion Strug­gle.

Mtungwa added it was im­per­a­tive for the youth to ac­quaint them­selves with the coun­try’s his­tory in or­der for them to move it for­ward.

“Our wish is that his role and his brav­ery, demon­strated dur­ing the Strug­gle, bears free­dom.”

Let us learn from our com­rade in all as­pects of life


RE­MEM­BER­ING: Deputy Min­is­ter in the Presidency Buti Manamela lays a wreath at Solomon Mahlangu’s grave in Mamelodi yes­ter­day in cel­e­bra­tion of his birthday.

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