Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has lashed out at people who used government positions to further their personal interests while scores of people suffer neglect.
He was speaking during the Human Rights celebration rally at Allenridge Hall in Uitenhage, closer to where more than 20 people were killed by apartheid security forces on March 21, 1985, in the Langa massacre.
“Positions that we occupy as ANC deployees are borrowed by the ANC. We should not complain when we are recalled, because these are ANC positions,” said Mbalula.
Before the Langa rally which was attended by ANC regional chairman Nceba Faku, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile and ANC Youth and Women’s Leagues leaders, the minister went to lay wreaths at the Bucwa Cemetery in Kwanobuhle, where the victims of the massacre are buried.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion included Khoisan chiefs and religious leaders. Children from local schools entertained crowds by performing remembrance poems and struggle songs.
In his message, the mayor urged people to “never dishonour this important day”. “People made supreme sacrifices; if we forget the price that people paid with their blood, they will rise against this government one day,” Wayile said.
Elsewhere in the town political parties like Azapo, Cope and PAC held their own separate commemoration rallies to mark the day.
PAC leaders took a swipe at the ANC for hijacking the day, which they said was the result of its march under its late founder president Robert Sobukwe. During a PAC-led protest against the dompas, 69 people were killed in Sharpeville and 180 others were injured.