Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala: Commemoration of Kalushi Day

10 July 2017

Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala (MP) Remarks on Kalushi Day

His Majesty Ingwenyama King Mabhoko in absentia
The family of Monty Motloung
Honourable Deputy Ministers
Deputy Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency
Chairperson of the National Film and Video Foundation
All distinguished guests

This is a historic day which marks the birth of a gallant revolutionary, a young, and patriotic South African, who showed us the way. The Kalushi film is important for us as a nation, it allows us to reflect on how our precious democracy was obtained. In the process we must educate our youth about the martyrs like Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Embracing our collective history enhances our prospects of social cohesion as a nation.

I would like to applaud Mr Mandla Dube and his co-producer Walter Ayres. If one looks at the cast of this film it is exclusively South African. Unlike other South African Biopics, such as Winnie Mandela, Catch Fire and even Long Walk to Freedom this film did not import actors. This film was exclusively South African, there was no foreign actor.

In this film we have South Africans telling their own stories. Mandla and Walter thank you for believing in South Africa talent.

Through Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, we are continuously reminded that our actions should always be driven by revolutionary morality. His actions were never to protect his self-interest but rather to serve the nation, through his deeds even if this would cost him, his life.

We are reminded of this revolutionary act when we read or hear his last words being narrated. In his words we see and hear of the characteristics of a revolutionary, the ability to be selfless and to seize a moment that will define history.

As someone once remarked
“Men make history …not the other way round. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skilful leaders seize the moment to change things for the better”

There is no doubt that this was a courageous and skilful leader who seized the moment. His actions certainly changed things for the better. We stand here today on his and many others shoulders. Without his selfless actions our political freedom, would have been a pipe dream.

In that same vein this generation must remain committed to the second phase of our transition and the quest for economic freedom. The attainment of political freedom which the likes Solomon Mahlangu sacrificed his life for was the first step towards an equal society.

Our young people those who are African and black in particular remain on the fringes of the formal economy. Many of our township entrepreneurs are confined to the informal economy and they have to settle on the margins of all economic activities.
Even the way we live, resembles the exclusionary nature of the despotic apartheid regime. Our homes are built far away from the towns and industrial areas and so even in our homes we are marginalised. This needs to be changed. The apartheid spatial planning system needs to be uprooted.

And our nation is capable of reimagining South Africa in honour of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu. Through interventions by the National Youth Development Agency in the form of the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship, we must produce town planners that will redefine Mamelodi. Just like Kalushi redefined the death penalty. Those of us who have the honour of attending the Solomon Mahlangu College or even Mamelodi High School, where he was a learner dare not fail in their studies. This society needs to be redefined it is the only substantial tribute we can give to our forebears.

We dare not fail because it’s this type of life that Mahlangu wanted to uproot. We need to take the baton forward. Yes our dignity has been restored, but dignity without economic freedom means is short lived. It is up to this generation to take up the opportunities provided by the democratic state to extend the gains of political freedom.

This day, Kalushi Day, is a reminder to us that the actions of the Youth have a catalytic effect on the status quo and our future. It is also a reminder to us public and civil servants of the people of South Africa that we stand on the shoulders of giants and priceless sacrifices.

We dare not fail or betray our forebears.

Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, I wish you a revolutionary birthday. It is no coincidence that you share a birthday Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, and this birthday also falls on the eve of our stalwart former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Indeed you are born in month of liberators and the makers of history.

And I wish to leave you with a quote from someone I am sure you are well acquainted with, the late giant of the revolutionary diaspora Commandant Fidel Castro:

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A Revolution is a struggle between the past and the future.”

On this day as we recall the past I am sure that most will agree with me when I say in you we see the future.

I thank you.

Issued by Department of Communications

Speech date:: 
Monday, July 10, 2017