ANC veterans celebrate fallen hero Vuyisile Mini's centenary with call for unity
Port Elizabeth - The ANC Veterans League and the Nelson Mandela Bay MKMVA in a statement issued by the league's chairperson Snuki Zikalala on Wednesday has called for bravery, unity and hard work as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vuyisile Mini, during April, Heroes' Month.
Mini, who was born on 8 April 1920, was hanged for murder, in "trumped up charges", by the apartheid government on 6 November 1964, with two other MK combatants, who were with him in the Eastern Cape regional high command, Wilson Khayingo and Zinakile Mkaba, the statement said.
Three other MK members, Nolali Mpentse, Samuel Jonas and Daniel Ndongeni, also from the Eastern Cape, were hanged for the same murder the following year.
"April is significant in the South African calendar because it marks the apartheid execution of Solomon Mahlangu, the assassination of Chris Hani and passing away of Oliver Reginald (OR) Tambo, great and courageous leaders of our struggle," Phakamile Ximiya, MKMVA Nelson Mandela Bay region chairperson said.
"It also marks Freedom Day. But April is also the birth anniversary of Vuyisile Mini, one of the foremost leaders of the revolution against apartheid and capitalism in South Africa."
Mini, an activist and leading force during the Defiance Campaign and an organiser for the South African Congress of Trade Unions, rose rapidly through the ranks of the movement from the 1950s, the statement said.
"Mini, is also remembered for singing freedom songs as he walked to the gallows in Pretoria, among them 'Naants’ ndond’ emnamya Verwoerd' (Here is the Black man Verwoerd)," Ximiya said.
"Refusing to cower in the face of the enemy, they set an example of the bravery expected of an MK cadre. Mini flatly refused to compromise the people’s struggle for his own life or personal interests under testing situations.
"We are also remembering ANC stalwart, Raymond Mhlaba, who would have turned 100 in February this year," Ximiya said.
But in honouring their heroic dead today, "the ANC Veterans League and Umkhonto we Sizwe in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro declare that the struggle is not over" he said.
"The novel coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) global pandemic, which has struck our shores, is a stark reminder of the need to stick to the basics as espoused by our leaders – to Unite, Organise and Serve.
"President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Command Council have provided outstanding leadership and have marshalled the country to adhere to the basics to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to flatten the curve.
"This is a wakeup call to the government, nationally, provincially but specifically to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, to address the social, economic and political decay that has set in over the past decade."
High on its list were reducing poverty, hunger and inequality, the veterans said, through measures such as a "Basic Income Grant to selected groupings" and supporting Co-operatives, NGOS and "genuine SMMEs".
Others, included cleaning Nelson Mandela Bay, caring for the homeless, addressing alcholism, the "de-densification" of informal settlements, providing basic infrastructure such as clean running water and tarred roads for all, was well as dealing with rampant crime in the metro.
"The Nelson Mandela Metro Council must undertake its work so that we emerge from this lockdown on the path to creating a new society and greater social cohesion and nation building," Ximiya said.
African News Agency (ANA)