South Africa and the community of military veterans, are commemorating the 38th Anniversary of the execution of Umkhonto We Sizwe cadre Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.
This being the year of Oliver Tambo, we need to look no further than this towering ancestor of our revolution for inspiration. And it is through the eyes of our beloved OR that we choose to see the phenomenon that is Cde Mahlangu. For it was Tambo who immortalised Mahlangu when during a speech in Asia he said of the departed soldier:
“..In his brief but full life Solomon Mahlangu towered like a colossus, unbroken and unbreakable, over the fascist lair. He, on whom our people have bestowed accolades worthy of the hero-combatant that he is, has been hanged in Pretoria like a common murderer. Alone the hangmen buried Solomon, bound by a forbidding oath that his grave shall remain forever a secret, because, in his death the spirit of Solomon Mahlangu towers still like a colossus, unbroken and unbreakable, over the fascist lair”
His death was indeed not in vain. The Human Rights and the Bill of Rights, enshrined in our constitution, guarantee that the unjust laws under which Mahlangu and many others were charged and convicted, will never again see the light of day in our justice system.
The Department of Military Veterans will continue to honour military veterans, by providing them with socio economic support and memorization, restoring their dignity, and empowering other military veterans for nation building.
The commemoration details are as follows:
Date: 06 April 2017
Time: 07:00am – 09:00am
Venue: Kgosi Mampuru Prison – Pretoria
Wreath laying- 10:00 – 11:30 at Mamelodi West Cemetery
Public Lecture- 18:00 – 22:00 at Solomon Mahlangu Freedom Square-Mamelodi
Enquiries: Mr Musi Mbulelo, 082 338 3890, Musi.Mbulelo@dmv.gov.za (Department Spokesperson) / Tlele Mabena (Sol Mahlangu Family)
For media logistical queries: Ms Lebogang Mothapa, 076 865 7188, Lebogang.Mothapa@dmv.gov.za