Solomon Mahlangu's nephew Gideon Mahlangu addresses the memorial lecture to his uncle at the Mamelodi West community Hall. Inset: The newly renovated tombstone of the former Umkhonto weSizwe hero. 
Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Gideon Mahlangu, nephew of Struggle hero Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, pulled no punches on Tuesday, when he accused the Tshwane DA-led administration of not respecting the legacy of his uncle by providing poor service delivery to the city.

He said this while addressing the Solomon Mahlangu memorial lecture at the Mamelodi West Community Hall Tueday.

The lecture, themed “Contemporary Relevance: Solomon Mahlangu in pursuit of Economic Freedom in our Life Time”, took a different turn when Gideon took to the podium.

He appeared visibly riled as he opened the lecture by thanking the National Youth Development Agency for providing the Kalushi scholarship, and congratulated the newly elected Tshwane ANC administration, before hitting at the DA.

He told attendees that the Mahlangu family were mostly worried about the state of the Solomon Mahlangu Square in Mamelodi West.

“There is a huge difference in the state of the square from when the city was led by the ANC it is shabby and dilapidated, it doesn’t resemble the stature it should uphold. It’s shameful,” he said.

He accused the party of using Mahlangu’s name to attract tourists and benefit for themselves with the financial proceeds, while failing to maintain the monument.

“If they can’t respect an icon like Solomon then what about other heroes?” he asked.

The hall cheered as he said: “You cannot disassociate Mahlangu from the ANC, never.”

He also took a swipe at the EFF for forging ahead with a Solomon Mahlangu lecture in 2016 without the family’s consent. He said it was disrespectful and a bid to score political points.

He further lashed out over the lack of service delivery since the DA took the helm, blaming it for power and water cuts in Mamelodi.

“They (DA) said they were going to make things better, but have dismally failed Tshwane and the legacy of Mahlangu,” he said.

ANC Youth League secretary general Njabulo Nzuza managed to steer back to the topic by cautioning the youth about alcohol and drug abuse. He said the Struggle was far from over, especially economically, and it needed a sober youth to wage the war.

“The abuse of alcohol and drugs is detrimental. Let’s change our attitudes and take the baton from Solomon Mahlangu. It's a long road that needs sober and sharp minds,” he said.

Also attending the lecture was newly elected Tshwane ANC chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa, who was received with great ululation.

Earlier in the morning, the NYDA unveiled a newly revamped tombstone for Mahlangu, who would have turned 62 Tuesday.

Pretoria News