Zuma honours MK veterans
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has called on the youth not to take the freedom of the country for granted.
Zuma was speaking during the honouring of uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA) at the Bloemspruit Military Base in Bloemfontein yesterday.
"We should not take this freedom for granted because there are people who died for it. When we ask ourselves where we would find such people willing to sacrifice their lives for the liberation of this country, we are talk of the military veterans," Zuma said.
He applauded former ANC leaders, including Chief Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela who led the armed struggle against apartheid government.
"A number of comrades were sent out of the country to set up structures of the armed struggle. Young people were also recruited to serve as guerrillas among them was Mandela before his arrest in 1963 in Johannesburg," Zuma said.
He said the Constitution of the country ensured that veterans were honoured and remembered.
"In order to forge ahead, we should always reflect on the past. December 16 1961 marked a point in our country. A minority government had turned war on the masses. People were detained for months without trial. Progressive journalists were served with notices depriving them from serving as journalists," he said.
Among the recipients of the Military Veterans Decoration in Platinum classes 1, 2 and 3 were Moses Kotane, Mandela, Luthuli, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Dennis Goldberg and Ahmed Kathrada.
Among the recipients of the Gold Medal for bravery were Limpho Hani on behalf of her late husband Chris, Major-General Wilson Nqose and Ike Maphoto.
Many of the recipients are dead and their loved ones accepted the medals on their behalf. Zuma promised that towards the end of the year they would be remembering other members of MKMVA.
Mlangeni urged the youth to abstain from drugs, alcohol and practise safe sex .
Goldberg said it was a moving ceremony and everybody should play a part in the strengthening of democracy. He said many lives were lost, many spent decades of years in jails, tortured to death in the fight against apartheid. - firstname.lastname@example.org