Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Athol Trollip has called on all the people of the City to use the memory and legacy left by those who died fighting for freedom as a tool to unify the people of the City and South Africa.
The Executive Mayor was speaking at the official unveiling of a wall of remembrance and heroes acre in Zwide Cemetery today, October 4, 2016. Zwide Cemetery is the resting place of many freedom fighters that were selfless in pursuit of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.
At the entrance of the Zwide Cemetery a piece of land had been designated as a heroes acre where political icons like, Oom Raymond Mhlaba, Oom Govan Mbeki, Florence Matomela, the Pebco three Cosas Two, the exhumed reburied struggle icons, Mnoneleli Kana, Thabang Bookholane and Thamsanqa Poto are buried. An honour to the memory of Sizwe Kondile is also presented at the site in a form of a memorial as he was shot, burnt and his remains dumped in the river.
The Executive Mayor said the heroes acre needs to be a sacred place that is taken care of and respected by all communities. He called on all residents to look after the cemetery and make sure that it is always clean and given the respect it deserves. Councillor Trollip said that the heroes acre will not only have freedom fighters from one political party.
“We still need to put more names on the wall of other heroes from all political backgrounds who put their lives for us to enjoy the freedom we enjoy today. We must embrace the legacy of the people buried here and use it as a catalyst to unite the people of this City and South Africa as a whole. That is what they fought and died for,” said Executive Mayor Trollip.
Families of those who are buried and those whose names appear on the wall of remembrance were invited to be part of the unveiling. Pat Kondile, a family member of Sizwe Kondile was visibly moved by what the municipality had done. “As a family we appreciate what has been done. To us as families this is not just a small thing, it is very important for the legacy and history of our brothers, fathers, sisters and mothers whom we did not have enough time to spend with because of their undying spirit to fight for freedom for all,” said Kondile.
Struggle Icon, Mkhuseli Jack also commended the Municipality for the unveiling of the Zwide Heroes Acre. “This is a very important programme for the history of South Africa. An important place like this needs to be taken care of. It needs to be preserved for generations to come so that they can learn about the sacrifices that have been made by the cadres buried here,” said Jack.
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