Preserve monuments and memories of struggle stalwarts - SACP's Solly Mapaila

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Rebecca Kotane
Rebecca Kotane
Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lisa Hnatowicz
  • SACP's Solly Mapaila says the place where struggle stalwart Rebecca Kotane is to be buried should be cleaned.
  • He also called for monuments and statues of struggle heroes not to be neglected.
  • Mapaila said stories should be documented to serve as a good example. 

Statues and stories of struggle stalwarts should be preserved better, the SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila has said.

Speaking during the memorial service of struggle stalwart Rebecca Kotane, Mapaile said the SACP was unhappy about the neglect of monuments and memorials. "When we bury her in Pella [in the North West on Saturday], we have to start by cleaning the place where [she will be buried]," he said.

Mapaila said the SACP was unhappy with the way the grave of her husband, former SACP general secretary Moses Kotane, was neglected. Moses Kotane died in Russia in 1978 but his remains were reburied in Pella in 2015.

"It's just a structure that's been erected," he said of Moses Kotane’s monument, "and no proper attention is being given to that monument".

Similarly the monument for former ANC leader John Langalibalele Dube is next to a theatre that had been abandoned, Mapaila complained.

He said:

So this posture that we have towards important revolutionary monuments must change in our movement if we are to sustain our history and learn properly from it.

Mapaila also said the Department of Arts and Culture "should be able to create a special institution to look at the contributions of our stalwarts to properly document and write the history of our struggle".

He mentioned the example of a documentary made of Rebecca Kotane with her granddaughters. "All these documentaries, type of them, should become dominant even in our public discourse so that we learn the sacrifices that our people have made to the freedom that we enjoy today."

He also said her example should be followed, and people should learn how Rebecca Kotane "never felt entitled to the outcomes of the revolution", but remained in Diepkloof, Soweto, where the people "became the fortress that defended her against atrocities unleashed upon her by the apartheid regime".

He said: "She continued to live amongst the people."

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