Fri. Oct 18th, 2019

In photos: The 40th anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu’s execution

Solomon Mahlangu 40th AnniversarySolomon Mahlangu was hanged by the apartheid regime on 6 April 1979 at the Pretoria Central Prison, today known as the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre.

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Minister Nathi Mthethwa chaired the commemoration. The Mahlangu family attended the event, as well as premiers, ministers, and MK veterans, among others.

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Minister Nathi Mthethwa addresses the 40th anniversary of the commemoration of the execution of Solomon Mahlangu. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA
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At the 40th anniversary of the commemoration of the execution of Solomon Mahlangu. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

In addition, Minister Mthethwa said:

“This day is not about mourning the fact that a criminal regime hung Solomon Mahlangu for his efforts towards a just and humane society. It is about celebrating a life that was dedicated to freedom and the construction of a national democratic society.”

Watch: the process of hanging prisoners

Four important dates

Mahlangu’s death also coincides with four important “landmarks in the evolution of our society,” he added. If Mahlangu had still been alive, he would have celebrated his 60th birthday this year.

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The Gallows. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

In addition, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark conference in Morogoro. Thirdly, the 140th anniversary of the battle at Isandlwana, where Ambutho defeated the English army.

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Nathi Mthethwa, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and the Mahlangu Family took the 52 steps to the Gallows, as they observe the re-enactment of Solomon Mahlangu’s final moments before execution. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA
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Government together with the Solomon Mahlangu family in company with the NYDARSA and the National Heritage Council of South Africa commemorate the 40th anniversary of the late Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu under the theme “The Fruits of Freedom on the 25th Anniversary of Democracy”. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

Fourthly, 2019 marks the year we celebrate our 25th year as a democracy. It also gives us an opportunity to look back at how far we’ve come as a country.

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Solomon Mahlangu was born on 10 July 1956, the second son of Martha Mahlangu and originally from Mpumalanga, although he grew up in Pretoria. His mother, a domestic worker, took sole responsibility for his upbringing. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

“Unpleasant memories”

Mthethwa explained:

“At times events such as this evokes unpleasant memories of the turbulent apartheid years. But it can help those who were born after the dawn of democracy to understand the heavy price their forebears paid for democracy.”

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Death row timelines / Image via Twitter: @Lesufi

He said Mahlangu will always be remembered as a “unique example of a bold revolutionary leader who embodied the great traditions of the liberation movement.”

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Solomon Mahlangu’s grave. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

The qualities he possessed was selflessness, discipline, dedication, hard work and loyalty. Mthethwa also had a challenge for the youth of today.

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Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla and the Mahlangu Family took the 52 steps to the Gallows, as they observed the re-enactment of Solomon Mahlangu’s final moments before execution. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

Youth asked to make a difference

He urged them to keep Mahlangu’s legacy alive being involved in the upcoming elections. He also added that youth “should cherish and jealously protect schools, libraries and other centres of learning.”

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Nathi Mthethwa addresses the 40th anniversary of the commemoration of the execution of Solomon Mahlangu. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

Moreover, he encouraged youngsters to learn more about the past. To learn about the “immense sacrifices struggle icons made to be where we are today.”

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Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the event. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

In addition, he said the youth must work together with the government. They need to play active roles in their communities to improve people’s lives by being at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution.

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Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu died on 6 April 1979 at Dr. Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Service. / Image via Twitter: @ArtsCultureSA

“We also owe this giant cadre a lot, and this is a lesson the young generation must emulate going forward. In honour of Mahlangu, we call upon young people to be at the forefront in building better communities.”

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The death row time schedule. / Image via Twitter: @Lesufi

“Debt to his memory”

He added that we owe a “permanent debt to the life and memory of Mahlangu,” as well as the many other martyrs who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom.

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Death row procedures. / Image via Twitter: @Lesufi

“We are inspired by this revolutionary hero who sacrificed his life for humanity. Mahlangu never fought for fame or to be rewarded. Mahlangu made an indelible contribution when it was not fashionable to be a comrade.”

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Hose used to clean bodies on death row. / Image via Twitter: @Lesufi
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“Solomon Mahlangu was tried and convicted of two murders and three counts under the Terrorism Act, after being arrested in 1977 upon his return from Mozambique and Angola where he underwent training to assist in the student protests at the time. / Image via Twitter: @GovernmentZA

H/t SA Gov

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