The Mamelodi families have joined hands to strongly support the relatives of a hanged struggle hero Solomon Mahlangu in the bid to protect his memory from being used for mere political gains by some “populist” movements such as the EFF.
These Mamelodi struggle heroes are held dear by the Mamelodi families and all South Africans for their selfless contribution towards the freedom of the people.
Mamelodi was home to some prominent people who played remarkable roles in the liberation struggle in apartheid South Africa.
Among the heroes was Dr Fabian Ribeiro and his wife Florence, whose Mamelodi home was raided by apartheid agents who gunned them down in 1986.
Stanza Bopape died as a result of torture at John Vorster Square.
There were also the “Mamelodi 10” – guerrilla hopefuls who were abducted by apartheid security police and burnt to ashes in a minibus in 1986.
83-year-old Maria Ntuli whose 17-year-old son Jeremiah was among the Mamelodi 10, highlighted that the Mamelodi families had decided to pull their forces together following the recent conflict that ensued between the Mahlangu’s family and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) over the use of the hero’s name to promote its political rallies.
She said that only the ANC had the right to use the memory of Mahlangu and other Mamelodi struggle heroes.
The decision to stop these unruly use of the Mamelodi struggle heroes for political gain was taken during a meeting at Mamelodi West local municipal offices on Monday by the families of the deceased liberation fighters.
They reached a decision to approach the Pretoria High Court for an order barring any political party other than the ANC from using any of the names of the fallen heroes that made up the history township’s rich struggle heritage.
Recently, the Pretoria High Court overuled a judgment barring the EFF from holding a lecture in the name of Mahlangu. This cleared the grounds for the EFF event to go ahead at the Mamelodi campus of the University of Pretoria without any approval from the family.