“We are claiming our land now!” A statement made by International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at the unveiling of the tombstone of their grandfather, Moyikwa Abraham Sisulu.
Sisulu says the family is embarking on a process to claim back their land from their oppressors. This so they can be close to the people and help them improves the quality of their lives.
The Sisulu, Dyantyi and Hlakula families from Ngcobo united to remind their ancestors who gave birth to the likes of Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela’s former wife Evelyn Mase.
During apartheid some of the family members left their ancestral land. Minister Sisulu says that many were forced off their ancestral land, but they are claiming the land back now.
“We were forced off the land to provide labour for the mines, and then you understand what was behind the weight of the apartheid state to remove us from our land. We’re back claiming our land now. The narrative that is running currently is that we are going to take our land back and we need to start somewhere.
“The Sisulus have started by recognizing our grandfather to show gratitude of what he has provided us, which is our father and the family that we are. We want to make sure that we can come back here and give back to our people what we can give back, and make sure that we develop the land to make it productive and make sure SA truly belongs to all who live in it,” Minister Sisulu explained.
Sisulu says during her stay at Quthubeni village, she got to realise that rural people are still not given quality services, something that needs to be dealt with to close the gap of inequality.
“As I was preparing for the unveiling it rained the whole week. You can’t drive to my house, the electricity went off. I was informed this is what happens every time there is rain or lightning. You can see the hardship that our people live under. And you live it and you understand it makes me understand so much better to raise this when I go back to parliament and I’m saying we should make sure there are roads in rural areas. They should not only be for those who live in affluent areas.”
ANC Veteran member Smuts Ngonyama says it is heart-warming to see younger family members continue the legacy of their forefathers.
“The legacy of Moyikwa, the legacy of Walter Sisulu, the legacy of many people from this family shall not be forgotten. Today we saw young people of the family are here and many of them are partaking in the transformation of our country in the liberation struggle. We hope they will continue to defend the that legacy”
Quthubeni villagers hope the return of the Sisulu family to the village will help them get better services.