AZAPO commemorates life of struggle icon Ongkgopotse Tiro in Seshego

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The Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) has commemorated the life of student activist and black consciousness militant Onkgopotse Tiro, at Seshego, outside Polokwane in Limpopo.

Tiro’s connection with the province stems from the time he was a student at the University of Limpopo, then the University of the North.

He was expelled from the institution due to his student activism and militancy. Tiro was killed by a parcel bomb while exiled in Botswana in 1974.

Life and times of Tiro

The movement reflected on the life and times of Ongokgopotse Tiro. AZAPO president, Nelvis Qekema says Tiro’s role in confronting oppression during his time as a student leader was a turning point.

During the political turmoil that engulfed South Africa in the seventies, Tiro challenged the state of affairs which saw black people oppressed. That led to his expulsion from the then University of the North.

He later went into exile in Botswana where he was killed by a parcel bomb. Qekema says it is important to reflect on his legacy, as one of the pioneers of the Black Consciousness Movement.

“We are gathered here today to draw inspiration from the blood of Comrade Onkgopotse Tito. We are here to rededicate ourselves to the memory that he left. The reason we have to do this is because he is so important to us as the black people in Azania, the black people in the whole world. Because he is one of those who was and is the core founder of the black consciousness movement along with Steve Biko and others.”

The party fetched Tiro’s remains back from Botswana in 1988, and he was re-buried at his home village of Dinokaneng in the North West.

Qekema notes that the Black Consciousness Movement is still relevant in combating societal challenges.

“We need black consciousness more than we have before, if you have people in government that are and those people in government do nothing for the people they are supposed to be developing, steal from a people they are supposed to restore their humanity and make them look better.”

The party’s honorary president, Mosibudi Mangena, also attended the event in Seshego.



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