Hand over of new house and new furniture to Martha Mahlangu
Honourable Mayor, Mrs Ramokgopa
Chief Lucas Mahlangu
Cde T. Kubu
Cde S. Ramokgopa
Cde T. Mashigo
Members of the MKVA here present
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Happy Birthday Mma.
Nkulunkulu umdali somandla has kept you in his wings and has surrounded you with his love. On this auspicious day, the day of your birth, it is fitting that you are provided with the safety and comfort of a new home.
You gave us all a son who, in his last days did not have the comfort of your arms and the security of his family home.
Yet he was cherished by freedom-lovers throughout the world, who together in the anti-apartheid movement and in our liberation movement tirelessly called for his release. Mma, the Apartheid Ministers closed their hearts to these urgent calls, and took him away from you.
Your son should be by your side with your children, celebrating your life and your strength.
It is because of heroes like him that today we built a society based on justice and equality, on human rights and non-racialism.
It is because of his sacrifice that we have been able to lay the foundations for a new country and that values like ubuntu and non-sexism are entrenched in our new Constitution.
Today we can say with pride that we have freedom of speech, of religion, of movement, freedom of expression and of creativity.
Mma, we hope the new house and new furniture will be accepted by you.
Government’s gesture here today, Mma, we know, can never replace a broken heart.
But with the development of your house in which Solomon was raised, into a heritage site, by my Ministry, we can reach so many young children and adults and make them aware of the dedication and selflessness of Solomon and others who fought with him.
Here you have a place from whence you can watch students and young people learn about Umkhonto we Sizwe, about discipline and dedication to Freedom.
Some among us take our freedom too easily for granted, eroding it with crime against the very people who sacrificed the most to enable them to tell their stories of struggles and triumphs.
The legacy of your son has been remembered through the moving theatrical drama about his life, the establishment of SOMAFCO, and the square established in his name. It is appropriate that he is fondly remembered during June – the Youth Month.
Mma, we do this in honour of him. But we also do this work in honour of you, as his mother, who raised him with the values of Ubuntu.
My Ministry and Department, through our National Legacy projects, are raising the consciousness of our people and especially our youth about the struggles and sacrifices that have brought us to this point in our history.
Together with the National Heritage Council, we have embarked upon the National Liberation Heritage Route which will highlight the contribution of all our national heroes in the struggle for freedom.
We shall continue to invest funds, resources and energy to telling the story of this nation – it is a story of people throughout the length and breadth of this country who have made their mark in urban and also rural areas.
It is important that we never forget and that new generations never forget what has gone before them, and it is equally important that they build on this legacy and that they work hard in honour of Solomon Mahlangu and all our other heroes.
Ngithi abezimu bekhenu bakuqale ukhule uze ukhokhobe.