The Department of Military Veterans, freedom loving citizens and the community of military veterans, are commemorating the 38th Anniversary of the execution of Umkhonto We Sizwe cadre Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.
Shortly after the June 16 uprisings, Mahlangu left the country to be trained as an Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) cadre. Mahlangu was part of a new generation of MK recruits dubbed the June 16 Detachment. The training was received in Angola and Mozambique and on 11 June 1977 he returned to South Africa as a cadre, heavily armed, through Swaziland to assist with student protests. Solomon ‘Kalushi’ Mahlangu was hanged at the Pretoria Central Prison on 6 April 1979, after being charged with several charges of sabotage under the Terrorism Act.
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 Tambo that we choose to see the phenomenon that is Solomon Mahlangu. For it was Tambo who immortalized 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 memorialization, 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
Mr Musi Mbulelo
Cell: 082 338 3890
For media logistical queries
Ms Lebogang Mothapa
Cell: 076 865 7188