African National Congress stalwart Mac Maharaj says the life of Andrew Mlangeni exemplified the unity of purpose that won South Africa its democracy.
Mlangeni passed away at the age of 95 after being admitted at One Military Hospital in Pretoria. He was the last surviving Rivonia Trialist, and spent over 20 years on Robben Island after his conviction at the Treason Trial in 1964.
TIMELINE | The life and times of Andrew Mlangeni:
Maharaj says the country must celebrate the life of this extraordinary man and honour him by working towards a society that is free from racism and sexism.
“Even as we mourn his passing, let us find ways to celebrate a life well-lived. To the end of his days, he’s remained steadfast in serving the cause of eradicating racism and sexism and building a society founded on equality. Even as he chided us times for our failures and our mistakes, he kept faith with the future. Let us take courage from his life, learn from his example, and stand together to build a society that Andrew Mlangeni and his generation lived for. Long live Andrew Mlangeni!”
Mourners arrive at the Mlangeni’s home in Soweto:
Earlier Anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils says he will always remember Mlangeni as ‘Mr Dependability’ the nickname given to him during the struggle. He adds that Mlangeni was a dedicated member of the ANC who was always against corruption and was the epitome of honesty and integrity.
“You could give Andrew Mlangeni the simplest or the most difficult task he would ensure to accomplish it. No matter how arduous or dangerous and this is why when they looked around for somebody to carry out a mission, they went to ‘Mr Dependability’. He was Mr Reliability and that was the golden thread running through the life of Andrew Mlangeni the man who spoke against corruption who was the epitome of honesty and integrity and decency.”
Ronnie Kasrils remembering Mlangeni:
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa says Mlangeni was an ethical leader who continued to champion the interest of the poor.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has extended the condolences of the church and broader Anglican community to the family of Mlangeni.
“The sad loss of Andrew Mlangeni marks not only the passing of a generation prepared to lay down their lives for justice and freedom, but of a leader who continued to model ethical, value-based leadership in the interest of the poor. Our society owes an inestimable debt to the Rivonia generation. And we owe it to the memory of Baba Mlangeni and his comrades to recover their values and work not for our own personal gain, but instead, pursue the common good. I will miss seeing and warmly interacting with Baba at the annual State of Nation Address. We sent our condolences and those of the wider Anglican Church, to his family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”