ANC stalwart and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni
ANC stalwart and Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni

DA pays tribute to Andrew Mlangeni

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA), on Wednesday paid tribute to anti-apartheid stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, the last surviving member of a group of political activists including Nelson Mandela who were tried, convicted and jailed for sabotage in 1964.

“His contribution to the fight against apartheid and the liberation of the people of South Africa - which included serving 26 years in prison following the Rivonia Trial in 1964 – will forever be remembered in our nation’s history with reverence and respect,” said DA leader, John Steenhuisen.

“As the last surviving defendant in the Rivonia Trial, he represented an era of struggle icons that included Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg. His passing now brings an end to that particular chapter of our history.”

Steenhuisen said Mlangeni was a firm believer in the power of education to unlock people’s aspirations, as he managed to study towards his own Bachelor of Arts degree while incarcerated on Robben Island.

“He also abhorred the corruption that has infected our state and government, and maintained that Jacob Zuma should return to Robben Island if found guilty [of corruption]. He is famously quoted as saying: “I did not go to prison for 26 years for people to steal from the poor’,” said the opposition leader.

“Our best possible tribute to Andrew Mlangeni would be to give expression to these honourable qualities as we seek to build a more just and inclusive South Africa through the power of education and a zero tolerance for corruption. That is the South Africa that he would have wanted to see.”

The DA extended “heartfelt condolences” to Mlangeni’s children and the rest of his extended family.

“We also extend our condolences to all his many friends and colleagues in the ANC where his passing undoubtedly leaves a massive void. He was a much-loved and respected figure in the party, and we wish them strength and comfort in this difficult time,” said Steenhuisen.

African News Agency (ANA)

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