The anti-apartheid activists known as the PEBCO 3 were remembered for their heroic fight for liberation in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
The three activists – Sipho Hashe, Qaqawuli Godolozi and Champion Galela were fearless leaders of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation.
They were killed by apartheid security police in 1985.
Paying tribute to fallen heroes, their family members and African National Congress (ANC) leaders laid wreaths at their graves.
The PEBCO 3 leaders were kidnapped at the Port Elizabeth airport by security police in 1985 and subsequently murdered.
One of the murderer’s, Colonel Gideon Nieuwoudt, later confessed to killing them while applying for amnesty during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearing.
It was denied. But he died in 2005 without serving time in prison for the murders.
Family member Mandisa Hashe says; ”Today our family, I’m sure like everybody and when we say family we mean the whole of SA, particularly the metro it makes us feel good to know these people are remembered and the way they fought for our country.”
Another family member Nomali Rita Galela says; “It’s both painful but I’m grateful to the ANC to see that they still remember us and that we have days like these where we can come here and lay wreaths.”
At this lecture in their honour, the ANC insisted that their heroic fight against the atrocities of the apartheid system will never be forgotten.
It reiterated the importance of continuing with the struggle and addressing issues faced by society today.
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti says; “If you look at the resume of their lives you will see part of why they formed PEBCO 3 which was a civic organisation, you will see part of what they fought for was looking for affordable accommodation, decent human settlements, looking for living wages etc. They were looking for the social conditions of people, these are the things which are taken for granted in town and all over the world, but here we see a struggle, the struggle continues, that’s why I say you may go down hills, through valleys up hills, but we must look back and take strength from them, it’s not about elections.”
The Minister challenged the youth to know more about those who lost had their lives during the liberation struggle.
Click below to watch: