MK veterans mark speech 47 years on

2008-07-18 00:00

A monument commemorating the last public speech Nelson Mandela made before he was arrested in 1961 was unveiled at Imbali yesterday as part of Madiba’s birthday celebrations.

The monument at the Plessislaer Arya Samaj Hall was unveiled by Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo and the provincial ANC chairman, Finance and Economic Development MEC Zweli Mkhize.

It is an initiative of the Sunday Times Heritage project.

They were accompanied by ANC veterans who were among the 1 400 people who listened to the famous speech during the All-in-Africa conference, and by members of the provincial legislature.

Mkhize said the monument is an important record of history for Pietermaritzburg.

On that day Mandela’s speech was about starting a process to draw up a national constitution that made all citizens of South Africa equal, but he waited 35 years for this to become a reality.

“The day also saw, for the first time, the use of the now popular phrase Amandla Ngawethu,” he added

MK veteran Anton “Mfenendala” Xaba, who was on Robben Island with Mandela and attended the All-in-Africa conference, said that this is where the planning for forming the ANC’s military wing was made.

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