Tatane's death underlines need for government to deliver
"THE ANC government brutally murdered a peaceful martyr for social justice, Andries Tatane, on April 12 2011 in Ficksburg.
"The ANC government is responsible for Tatane's harrowing death in the same way that the Nationalist Party government was responsible for the murder of Steve Biko,"reads the press statement issued by the September National Imbizo (SNI).
The SNI is a non-aligned movement for social justice.
The media, commentators, opposition parties and government are united in reducing Tatane's murder to a matter of bad policing, thereby restricting responsibility to the six rogue policemen we saw assault and allegedly shoot Tatane.
This line of thought, deliberately or otherwise, hides the truth that Tatane was killed by government forces as a result of the government's failure to deliver.
We can't blame the police officers who have been hired to suppress people's struggles. Almost a thousand people a year have been killed in police action since 1994.
Tatane is now a symbol of the injustices of our 17-year democracy.
Like Jesus Christ, who was murdered by evil authorities at 33 years, Tatane was also murdered at 33 by a government that has lost its capacity to listen to the people, while it creates heaven on earth for the politically connected few.
If you take the picture of Tatane's lifeless body in the arms of his comrade and put it next to the picture of Hector Pieterson's limp body in the arms of Mbuyisa, a striking similarity emerges.
Hector Pieterson was the symbol of the 1976 uprising in the same way that Tatane is the symbol of service delivery struggles today.
Locating Tatane among the South African great heroes the SNI also said: "(Tatane) could have chosen to pursue a career and not care for the community, but he did not.
"He could have joined the ANC and got tenders, he did not.
"He could have become a businessman and made money for himself and his family, but he did not. He could have sat and watched with indifference as his community was marginalised further by the ANC government, but yet again Tatane chose his community over his own interests.
"Like Biko he was prepared to die because he knew that 'You are either alive or proud or you are dead' as Biko said.
"Tatane chose to be alive and proud and stood for the dignity of his community! "
The SNI will join Pastor Xola Skosana of the Way of Life Church, in the "Welcome to Hell: South African Townships", march through the townships and squatter camps of Cape Town on April 23.
The march seeks to highlight the hellish state of services in townships.
The SNI will also launch its Politicians and Public Servants Use Public Services campaign in honour of Tatane.
The main demand of the campaign is that all public servants, from the president to the councillor, from the director-general to the street sweeper, must themselves and their families use public services by law; mainly schools, hospitals, transport and housing.
This campaign seems to be a fitting tribute to the memory of Tatane, the gallant fighter!