Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron is expected to honour three African National Congress (ANC) veterans today. This is in recognition of their contribution to the end of apartheid in South Africa.
These veterans, namely Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni, were political prisoners convicted at the Rivonia Trial for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid state through sabotage.
The men, who were so passionate about the need for a multiracial-democracy in South Africa were prepared to give up their lives for it. Together they stood in the face of death 50 years ago and are now to be rewarded for their fight for justice.
The trio were tried in 1963 after the police raided the party’s safe house in Rivonia and arrested Kathrada and Goldberg. They were put in solitary confinement alongside Mlangeni who was already arrested at home. All were interrogated and tortured, but none of them talked.
The men, who were said to have spent 75 years in prison, will be today, welcomed at Downing Street and at a gala event in aid of a charity which inspires young people to change the world.
Even after their long stay at the prison, the trio still made sure that their desire to see south Africa free from apartheid is achieved.
Being grieved by the death of Nelsen Mandela, Goldberg cautioned South Africans against forgetting some of the struggle activists who played a crucial role in the fight against oppression. He also urged the people to continue to fight for a better South Africa and not to fold their hands waiting for “another Mandela to make them freer”.
“Are we going to wait for another Nelson Mandela or are we going to make our country better? Are we prepared to sacrifice? Are we really prepared to learn or the day after the funeral we are going to go back to as we were and complain and complain? And wait for somebody to do something.”
I don’t want to complain and moan but there’s a sense of one man set us free and we wait for another man to make us freer.” he said.
On the same hand, Ahmed Kathrada has urged young people to never forget the sacrifices made by freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela and especially those who did not live to taste victory.
Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister is set to visit the north of England today, as large parts of the country remain under water. CNN’s Nick Foster added that Cameron is bound to be criticized for not investing enough in flood defences.