ANC Veteran Andrew Mlangeni
ANC Veteran Andrew Mlangeni

'The last post on a courageous generation' - Tutus on death of Andrew Mlangeni

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Tributes continue to pour in for Andrew Mlangeni, the last surviving member of South Africa's Rivonia trialists, who died at the age of 95 on Wednesday.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation was the latest to offer its condolences, calling Mlangeni “a giant who opposed injustice to his dying day”.

Mlangeni was admitted to 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane on Tuesday, following an "abdominal complaint".

He was the last surviving member of a group of political activists, including Nelson Mandela, who were tried, convicted and jailed for conspiring to overthrow the government during the apartheid regime.

He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, where he spent more than 20 years, along with his fellow trialists.

Mlangeni had been the only surviving member of the group, who were part of the so-called Rivonia trial. In April, 87-year-old Denis Goldberg died.

The Rivonia Trial, which ran from October 1963 to June 1964, was one of the country’s most significant political trials. It propelled Nelson Mandela to global attention and enhanced the struggle for liberation from white minority rule.

In its statement released on Wednesday, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation extended condolences to Mlangeni’s family and friends, and said he would be deeply mourned.

Mlangeni was described as a “principled and modest man”.

Although he only officially retired from parliament in 2014, Mlangeni continued speaking out against injustices, corruption, fairness and morality within the African National Congress (ANC) and ANC-led government, said the foundation.

“His passing sounds the last post on a courageous generation of South Africans who forfeited their freedom, careers, family lives and health so that we could all be free," it said.

“It is now for younger hands to pick up the heavy baton they carried and complete the journey to equal justice for all.”

African News Agency/ANA

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