FEBRUARY 27 will mark the 32nd anniversary of the death of PAC founding president, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe.
Sobukwe was a brilliant student. Godfrey Pitje, who graduated at Fort Hare in 1945 said: "Sobukwe towered over us, even those of us on the staff, intellectually, from whatever angle. We readily recognised that he was an exceptional chap."
AP Mda, the ANCYL's second president, said Sobukwe developed his and Anton Lembede's African nationalist philosophy "to a higher level than that which we were at".
Sobukwe was humble and a good listener who didn't try to impose his ideas on others. He had a profound love for the oppressed. An exemplary family man, he upheld high moral standards. He was a committed and an uncompromising leader.
Saths Cooper of the Black Consciousness Movement, who became Azapo's president, said Sobukwe was a significant national leader who had a symbolic and practical leadership role in creating a very necessary national unity.
Writing in Drum magazine in December 1962, Nat Nakasa wrote that Sobukwe was about to be released from prison and he wondered how he would be received. But because of a law passed in the whites-only parliament, the "Sobukwe Clause", he was detained indefinitely. The apartheid government feared him. He was the first and only political prisoner to have a law enacted specifically for him, which was renewed periodically from 1964 to 1969 when he was finally released as a sick man.
Sobukwe will continue to inspire the people of South Africa and the world. Men who live by faith, as he lived, don't die. That faith lives on in us all.
Sam Ditshego, Kagiso