A needless waste of life

2010-05-11 10:37

The story of Solomon Mahlangu is a sad reminder of the clumsy way

in which the ANC fought the struggle and sacrificed valuable lives for very

little in return.

Young, poorly trained, ill-equipped and raw initiates were sent on

a suicide mission that had disaster written all over it.

Solomon and two of his equally inapt comrades were sent into the

country with bags full of explosives, ammunition and guns.

What is worse is they were expected to travel by public transport

carrying obviously cumbersome and heavy bags that drew attention from a mile


Once they were spooked, they seemed to run aimlessly and fire

machine guns in a crowded area without any hope of escape.

This highlighted their poor to non-existent training and exposes

uMkhonto we Sizwe’s leader’s lack of regard for the lives of its members.

Solomon Mahlangu is indeed a martyr and one can never detract from

his acts of bravery and heroism, but the same cannot be said for Simphiwe

Nyanda, Jacob Zuma and others who spared their own lives, but put their cadres

in harm’s way but sending them on these diabolical missions.

I suspect that the whole debacle is reflective of the ANC’s

thinking in general. Perhaps the current squabbles over power and wealth are not

a new phenomenon at all but a new reflection of the same problem, the lack of

regard for the welfare of their own.

The rampant self-destruction is probably a learned behaviour. All

these are very uncharacteristic of a liberation movement.

I personally think that Solomon and his comrades were guinea pigs

to test the apartheid security machinery.

And test it they did as the young men were ambushed terribly and

eventually Solomon was cruelly hanged by the apartheid government as the world

pleaded for his pardon.

From this, the ANC benefited from the publicity and show of

support. It was as if they planned it that way from the start. What a waste of

lives for so little in return!

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