- Nathi Mthethwa says that Jan van Riebeeck was ultimately responsible for Solomon Mahlangu's death
- However, he said that people should celebrate Mahlangu's life rather than mourn him
- Mthethwa added that events like those commemorating Mahlangu should teach young South Africans more about history
Nathi Mthethwa has blamed the death of anti-apartheid activist Solomon Mahlangu on colonialist Jan van Riebeeck.
Mthethwa made the comments over the weekend at an event marking the 40th anniversary of Mahlangu's death.
The anniversary took place on 6 April, which is aslo the anniversary of van Riebeeck's arrival in South Africa in 1652.
Speaking at the event, attended by several government officials and members of Mahlangu's family, Mthethwa said that van Riebeeck's impact on the country was ultimately responsible for Mahlangu's death.
Mahlangu was an uMkhonto weSizwe soldier. He was hanged on charges of murder after he returned to South Africa from exile. Mthethwa compared those who hanged Mahlangu to "dogs", but said that dogs were better.
Nevertheless, Mthethwa said the event was not about mourning the victims of apartheid but rather about celebrating Mahlangu's life, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
At the ceremony, Mahlangu's family performed a ritual in his memory. Then several people were given to the opportunity to offer a few remarks. Many of them quoted Mahlangu's last words: "My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight."
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Mthethwa said that events like the one commemorating Mahlangu could help teach young people more about their country's history, according to IOL.
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