Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation's Archives and Research team had the pleasure of attending the Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu wreath-laying ceremony on the 10th of July 2023, the date of his birth in 1956. Mahlangu was an African National Congress Umkhonto we Sizwe combatant, who was arrested in 1977 at a shootout in Goch Street, Johannesburg with the South African Police. He was charged with murder and terrorism and sentenced to death. He was hanged on 6 April 1979 at Pretoria Central Prison.

Solomon Mahlangu Edit

The ceremony was held at the gravesite of Solomon Mahlangu at Mamelodi West Cemetery and was attended by various dignitaries, government officials, representatives from the African National Congress (ANC), chiefs, and learners who came to pay their respects. These officials and representatives from different organizations delivered tribute speeches, highlighting Mahlangu's life, sacrifices, and his role in the fight against Apartheid. They spoke about his commitment to justice, the ongoing struggle for Human Rights, and his contribution towards the education of the youth.

The Ambassador of Tanzania who was in attendance said, "His sacrifice gave birth to other Solomons” showcasing the continental impact of Mahlangu's legacy and the ongoing fight for justice and equity.

The wreath-laying ceremony commenced with the playing of traditional South African music, evoking a sense of cultural pride and heritage. The melodies carried a powerful message of unity and resilience, which resonated with the audience.

Gideon Mahlangu, speaking on behalf of the Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu Trust, passionately addressed the crowd, recounting how the scholarship program established in Solomon's name has empowered numerous young South Africans to pursue education and fulfil their dreams. He urged the public to contribute to this noble cause, stating that investing in the education of the youth was a powerful way to build a brighter and more equitable future.

Moreover, the announcement of a forthcoming book about the life and times of Solomon Mahlangu drew significant interest from the audience. Many expressed their enthusiasm and pledged their support to the project, acknowledging the book's potential to inspire and educate people about the struggle against Apartheid and the importance of social justice.

Following the wreath-laying ceremony at the cemetery, the attendees, including Mahlangu's family, guests, and local Mamelodi learners, proceeded to the nearby Solomon Mahlangu Freedom Square for a career exhibition. The event aimed to empower and guide young learners in exploring various opportunities, echoing Mahlangu's belief in the transformative power of education.

As the day's events concluded, the legacy of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu was imbued with renewed significance and commitment. The wreath-laying ceremony and the accompanying activities reaffirmed the importance of preserving history, promoting education, and fostering a society that upholds justice, equality, and the indomitable spirit of those who fought against oppression.