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Non-racialism and the importance of education were the key themes that emerged from the event hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on Thursday, October 15 to mark the 31st anniversary of the release of some of the Rivonia Trialists from prison. The memorable event, hosted at Morris Isaacson High School in Central Jabavu, was an opportunity to revive the history of 1964.
This historic and protracted trial started in 1963 and lasted until June 1964. The accused were Lionel Bernstein, Denis Goldberg, James Kantor, Ahmed Khathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Andrew Mlangeni, Ellias Motsoaledi and Walter Sisulu. Of the eleven accused, eight were sentenced.
The injustice of apartheid system, which was demonstrated through the outcome of the Rivonia trial, led to national and international mobility against racial segregation, human violation and oppression.
Sello Mlangeni, son of the late Andrew Mlangeni swept up to the podium and with his fist pumped in the air, bellowed “Amandla!”. The crowd responded euphorically with “Awethu”.
He said: “it’s a special day as it reflects on those men who stood together and fought for freedom which South-Africa has today. Yet there are still struggles to overcome”. The programme, drew a young audience, with students from Morris Isaacson High school, as well as teachers in attendance. Learners were given copies of the ‘Igniting Your Power’ workbook which is a training manual based on the life, lesson and activism of Rivonia Trialist Ahmed Kathrada.
Thapelo Magola Sowet0 Sunrise News