The ANC and the SACP have paid tribute to Struggle stalwart Joe Slovo.
Slovo who died on January 6, 1995, was a revered Marxist-Leninist, who was also a long-time leader and theorist within the SACP and the ANC.
He was also one of the commanders of the ANC’s military wing uMkhonto we Sizwe.
On Saturday, marking the 28th anniversary of his passing, ANC 2nd deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa delivered a message on behalf of the ANC while SACP general secretary, Solly Mapaila, delivered keynote address at the Joe Slovo Commemoration held at Avalon Cemetery.
Mapaila said Slovo denounced apartheid, fascism and imperialism and dedicated all his life to fighting for the marginalised adding that if he was alive today, he would have denounced the war in Palestine.
“Slovo attached great importance to the needs of the workers and poor, who the profit-driven capitalist market excludes from economic demand for houses. The capitalists do not care about people who are homeless. What they care about is whether there are people who have money to buy or rent the properties that they develop through the exploitation of workers in the construction sector.
“As we remember Slovo, the internationalist, we pledge our solidarity with the Palestinian people against the bombardment of their homes, health-care centres, infrastructure and land by the capitalist, apartheid Israeli settler state through its military.
“We support the Palestinians’ just struggle for the return of their entire expropriated land and national self-determination under conditions of freedom,” Mapaila said.
Mapaila said the ongoing war in Palestine which began on October 7 has killed and continues to kill women and children and innocent civilians.
“Since its latest genocidal campaign on 7 October last year, the Israeli apartheid settler state has killed over 22 000 and wounded over 57 000 Palestinians, including children, women, journalists, and those it has paralysed. Through the indiscriminate bombardment and committing war crimes, the apartheid Israeli leaders have wiped off entire families of Palestinians in Gaza,” he said.
On Twitter, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula tribute to Slovo, saying real freedom cannot be possible while the majority of South Africans remain poor.
“Humankind can never attain real freedom until a society has been built in which no person has the freedom to exploit another person. The bulk of humanity’s resources will never be used for the good of humanity until they are in public ownership and under democratic control.
“The all-round development of the individual and the creation of opportunities for every person to express his or her talents to the full can only find ultimate expression in a society which dedicates itself to the people rather than profits,” said Mbalula.
He added that the job of the ANC remains the same as it was more than 100 years ago, to bring a better life for all South Africans.
“Isithalandwe/Seaparankoe (the highest honour awarded by the people of South Africa, through the African National Congress (ANC), to those who have made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice for the liberation Struggle), Cde Joe Slovo, whom today, we commemorate the 29th anniversary of his passing. To this day, our commitment to building a better life for all, remains our most important daily task as the people's movement, ANC,” he said.