Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to establishing a Charlotte Maxeke Memorial College in the Eastern Cape as he honoured the political and social stalwart at her 150th birthday celebrations in Fort Beaufort on Wednesday.
Members of the ANC led the celebrations of 150 years of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke across the country.
The ANC also declared 2021 as “The Year of Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke”.
Addressing a congregation in Nxukhwebe, Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa said visiting her homeland “feels like I have come to the fountain of wisdom”.
He honoured Maxeke as a religious leader and social and political activist who was the first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa with a BSc from Wilberforce University Ohio in 1901.
She was also the first black African woman to graduate from an American university.
“She led the education project in our country.
“She was an educated person, an intellectual and we need to have a Charlotte Maxeke Memorial College here in the Eastern Cape.
“I support and will work with the Department of Higher Education and other departments to make sure this happens.
“I can’t think of a better place to have a place of education in her memory to get everyone in this area and the country to be able to rise,” Ramaphosa said.
It was also during this visit that the Charlotte Maxeke Agricultural Legacy Project was handed over.
In Limpopo, Deputy President David Mabuza led the celebrations in Ramokgopa with traditional leaders.
Mabuza unveiled a memorial plaque and met with traditional leaders and the local community.
In Kliptown in Gauteng, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nancefield Cemetery before attending a church service at the AME Church.
Magashule’s plans also included an afternoon drive to drop off gifts for babies born on April 7 at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital before having lunch with 150 veterans at Walter Sisulu Square.