President Cyril Ramaphosa says George Floyd murder opens old wounds
President Cyril Ramaphosa used the 95th birthday celebration of Struggle icon Andrew Mlangeni to pledge the country’s solidarity with the African-American community following protests against George Floyd’s murder by police.
Ramaphosa was addressing the webinar organised by the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation to honour the last surviving Rivonia Trialist on his 95th birthday on Saturday.
The president said the murder of Floyd in Minneapolis last month opened old wounds. ”We stand in solidarity with the African-American community,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the doors of racial injustice must be closed. He also used the occasion to reiterate that his administration would continue with the process of redress particularly on the land question will be accelerated.
Ramaphosa committed his government to pressing ahead with policies of affirmative action.
The webinar also featured former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, members of Ramaphosa’s executive and former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Buthelezi said there was nothing capable of stopping Mlangeni despite his advanced age as he has never seen him rest.
He said Mlangeni pursued excellence in everything he did and has a commanding presence. ”There is substance in everything he says,” Buthelezi said.
He said he was confident that Mlangeni will continue to play a role in the country until he draws his last breath.
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu described Mlangeni as an “amazing ambassador for the ANC.” She said Mlangeni was a model of what an ANC member should be due to his integrity, honesty, dedication and commitment.
”We are so fortunate as South Africans to still have you,” Sisulu said. She said Mlangeni gave everything expecting nothing in return.
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande described Mlangeni as a living ancestor who was part of a generation that was visionary and ahead of its time. ”We are lucky to be able to draw from your wisdom,” Nzimande said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the country looks up to Mlangeni for leadership.