On Wednesday, South Africa woke up to the news that the last Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mokete Mlangeni, had passed away. The struggle icon, who walked among the greats, including Nelson Mandela, had recently turned 95. Briefly.co.za has honoured the anti-apartheid activist.
1. Andrew Mlangeni's age:
Mlangeni was 95. The struggle leader was born on 6 June, 1925. He had recently celebrated his birthday and many South African politicians and government officials paid tribute to the leader who gave up so much for freedom.
2. Early life:
Mlangeni was a student at St Peter's Secondary School where he obtained his Junior Certificate in 1946. Faced by poverty and financial problems, he was unable to finish his studies and had to go out and work.
After 1946, he worked in several industries and factories where he experienced worker exploitation. As a result, when we worked as a bus driver for Putco, he was was active in the strike for better working conditions and a living wage. In 1951 he joined the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).
3. Anti-apartheid activism and subsequent arrest:
In 1954, Mlangeni joined the ANC. From 1958 to 1960 he was an ANC stalwart and in 1961 he was among the first to be sent for military training outside the country.
On his return in 1963, Mlangeni was arrested after state witnesses told the court that he was one of the people responsible for recruiting and training an armed force. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.
4. Release from prison and work as government official:
Due to negotiations between the ANC and apartheid government, Mlangeni was released from prison in October 1989 after serving 26 years of his life sentence.
Mlangeni served as an MP for the ANC from 1994 to 1999. He served again from 2009 to 2014 in the National Assembly and retired in late 2014.
5. Personal life and death:
Mlangeni was married to June Mlangeni (née Ledwaba) from 1950 until her death in 2001. The couple had four children.
He died on the night of 21 July, 2020 in a Military Hospital in Pretoria after complaining of abdominal-related issues. Mlangeni was the last surviving Rivonia Trialist. Lala ngoxolo Baba Mlangeni.
Briefly.co.za recently paid tribute to Zindziswa 'Zindzi' Mandela. At the age of 59, Zindzi Mandela took her last breath.
Zindzi was known for her fight against the injustices in South Africa and her death has left a void in the hearts of many.
Zindzi was the youngest daughter of former late President Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She was born in Soweto the same year the ANC launched its armed wing and both her parents were wanted by the government.
Zindzi was only 18 months old when Madiba was sentenced to life behind bars.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!