Minister Paul Mashatile Pays Tribute to MaMahlangu

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13 Mar 2014

Arts and Culture Minster, Mr Paul Mashatile, has learned with shock the passing of Mama Mahlangu, a stalwart of our struggle for freedom and democracy.

“I am saddened by the passing of Mme Martha Mahlangu, an icon of our struggle against apartheid who has played a critical role of being one of the bearers of our moral compass”, Mashatile said.

“We pay our deepest respects to Mama Mahlangu who was the mother of our young martyr, Solomon Mahlangu, a freedom fighter, who was hanged by the Apartheid regime on 6th April 1979, despite his innocence”, Mashatile continued.

MaMahlangu is the courageous mother whose son Solomon Mahlangu, inspired the oppressed people generally and the youth of our country particularly, to rise against the oppressive system of apartheid. In her own right, and motivated by the words of his son, Solomon, who said: "My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight”, MaMahlangu participated in the struggle to liberate our country as a member of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW), the ANC and the ANC Women’s League.

She was active in community development initiatives in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria and was a source of inspiration and hope for her community and South Africans generally.

At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Mme Martha Mahlangu said, ‘My son had aspirations of becoming a school teacher… He was very conscientious and humble. He stood firm and unshaken in his beliefs. Now, in my old age, I miss him even more.’

“We admire and appreciate the heroic mothers who supported the struggle for freedom and especially those who lost their loved ones as a result of the unjust system of apartheid. MaMahlangu herself faced constant harassment from the apartheid state security apparatus. The deep and constant pain would have certainly remained with the mothers and families of such martyrs and patriots. MaMahlangu is one such unsung heroine”, Mashatile said.

The Department of Arts and Culture is closely working with the City of Tshwane to honour the memory of Solomon Mahlangu and the development of the Solomon Mahlangu Heritage Precinct as part of preserving and promoting our rich heritage.

“Our sincerest condolences to the Mahlangu Family, relatives, friends and the ANC on the loss of this great stalwart of our struggle and our thoughts and prayers are with them. May they find solace in the knowledge that her contribution to our liberation and her steadfastness amid adversity have left a rich legacy that will inspire generations to come. As our country celebrates twenty years of freedom, we will be doing so in tribute to the sacrifices made by heroes and heroines like MaMahlangu”, Mashatile concluded.

For further information, contact Mogomotsi Mogodiri at: 071 687 4984