Youth urged to honour Mahlangu’s cause
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.