Community members of Thokoza in Ekurhuleni took their time to pay homage to their fallen struggle activists, by cleaning their graves at the local cemetery (known as Schoeman cemetery) on Freedom Day, April 27.
All the graves that were cleaned belonged to the fallen struggle heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives during the political war that occurred in the Thokoza Township, from 1990-1994, on the iconic Khumalo street.
One of the programme organisers, Mandla Ncube (51) residing in the Everest section, who is also a survivor of the political war expressed himself, saying, “We are celebrating freedom day today, but to us it came at a price, because during those political wars, our lives took a turn for the worst as we were derailed from our main purpose in life to carry guns, however what was mostly disturbing is that we lost our family members and friends that we loved dearly.
“Here at this monument located in Khumalo street we have a list of honourable ‘soldiers’ who sacrificed their lives for this freedom we are enjoying. That is why we decided to go to the cemetery to clean their graves today, but as a community we are not satisfied because we solemnly believe the City of Ekurhuleni has not done enough to turn this area into a heritage site, which would be beneficial to the community members in our Township,” he revealed.
He elaborated further stating that, “We have initiated this programme today because we feel like we have not commemorated our beloved heroes and heroines for a long time, so in clarity, we have failed our young generation because they don’t understand who they are, in that motion their moral values were also substituted with unruliness and loss of course, therefore I don’t think they will sustain the revolution, unless we share with them this rich history that our Township possesses.
“I would like to see the new generation understanding their history before moving forward because they waste their time on irrelevant things, but through the event we are offering the youth a chance to showcase their talents while equipping them with vital information. We are planning to improve on what we have started today as we want to turn it into an annual event and in a nutshell we need sponsors,” he uttered.
A former civil activist and treasurer of the South African Communist Party(SACP), Ndzipo Kalipa adamantly took the opportunity to condemn the leadership epitomes and skills of the current leaders, saying, “They have shifted from the main course and they are no longer serving the interest of the people, they are actually using this distressing historical information to enslave the masses, therefore those who have died fighting for freedom are turning in their own graves, because these modern leaders have turned away from advancing social cohesion, emancipation of the youth and women, equality and community development. The faith based organisations have exacerbated the situation because they are perpetuating fictions among parties instead of building nations. People shouldn’t be blinded by prejudice to see what’s really happening; we must rise up for a new phase of the revolution. It’s our government and organisation, but they have lost the ball, so we want them to change.
“The new generation must depoliticise themselves and become revolutionaries by fighting for change, and the arm struggle organisation which was formerly known as MKVA was dissolved by its leaders Chris Hani and Joe Modise in Venda, it doesn’t exist anymore. This decision came after the former president of Tanzania Julius Kambarage Nyerere called all the political leaders in all the four pillars of Africa, advising them to discontinue the arm struggle organisations because they no longer serve the purpose in the new dawn of democracy,” he adamantly uttered.
An artist famously known as Momo (Monwabisi Denis Yekeni) who reside in Everest also shared why freedom day should be commemorated, “We are here to honour the courage of our fallen heroes and heroines, because during the struggle they sacrificed their lives to save Thokoza,”he vividly expressed.
The event was graced by Thokoza based artists who pulled out heart-warming performances.