'We should not take where we come from for granted' - Duarte pays tribute to Solomon Mahlangu

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Jessie Duarte, adjunk-sekretaris-generaal van die ANC. Foto: Adrian de Kock
Jessie Duarte, adjunk-sekretaris-generaal van die ANC. Foto: Adrian de Kock
Foto: Adrian de Kock
  • The ANC commemorated the life of struggle activist Solomon Mahlangu.
  • At the event, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party should remember where it came from.
  • The apartheid government hanged Mahlangu on this day in 1979.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte says the party should remember where it came from and should not take its struggle credentials for granted. 

She was speaking at an event in Tshwane on Tuesday where the life of struggle activist, Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, was commemorated. The struggle icon and uMkhonto we Sizwe operative was hanged in 1979 after he was convicted of common-purpose murder during apartheid. 

Germany, Bonn: The execution of the ANC-member Sol
A protest against the execution of the Solomon Mahlangu by students in Germany in 1979.

"So I think that's what this day is about. It's remembering where we come from and not taking it for granted.

"And for the ANC cadres out there, this is the time to strengthen our movement so that we remember what we are and who we are and who we represent - the poorest of the poor, the people who really suffer and the people who really need transformation, economic upliftment, the reconstruction of the economy and the reviving of our organisation. And that's what we're determined to do," Duarte said.

Solomon Mahlangu.

Duarte, who was accompanied by ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, visited the Kgoši Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Tshwane. 

READ | Solomon Mahlangu: A lasting reminder of the sacrifice for freedom

The ANC leaders observed the 52 symbolic steps to the gallows before they continued to lay a wreath at Mahlangu's gravesite. The party described Mahlangu as a militant and fearless person who fought the oppressive apartheid regime. "Before Solomon Mahlangu fell in the gallows of the apartheid regime, he said to his mother: 'Please tell my people that I love them,'" Mashatile said.

READ | Magashule and Ramaphosa: What are the ramifications of the ANC NEC's decision? We ask 3 experts

But, while the ANC vowed to fight for a better life of all South Africans, the South African Communist Party (SACP) sang a different tune.

"We know that without the unity of the ANC, this alliance will not be as strong as it should be.  We need that unity of the ANC to prevail in the forthcoming elections. We need that unity of the ANC to prevail in 2024 but that unity of the ANC cannot be the unity of words. It must be a unity based on a revolutionary programme," said Alex Mashilo, a central committee member of the SACP.

Meanwhile, the party leaders urged the country to rally behind President Cyril Ramaphosa to help the country's economy post Covid-19.The party admitted that more ground work had to be done to uplift and improve townships nationwide.

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