Revolutionaries give abundantly to noble cause

Lest we forget, it is because of the legacy of apartheid that the majority of our people are still to enjoy the fruits of our hard-earned democracy.

Lest we forget, it is because of the legacy of apartheid that the majority of our people are still to enjoy the fruits of our hard-earned democracy.

Millions still live in shacks; they can't feed their offspring; they can only watch in despair as the kids tread kilometre after kilometre to and from school on empty stomachs and no proper shelters to call home.

This is the irony of the new South Africa which came about as a result of the sacrifices of brave men and women - and children.

Indeed, human rights remain a key challenge today.

But apartheid or no apartheid, it is a serious indictment on our leaders that 13 years into the new South Africa, there are still children learning under trees and communities without clean water, proper sanitation and houses.

Yet we have already produced countless multi-millionaires, while conditions for the poor worsen by the day.

We hope the wealthy among us take up the challenge of American talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, who has called on those with plenty to help the needy.

We must revisit our history. We must remember that those we commemorated yesterday - massacred or maimed in Sharpeville and Langa in 1961 because they dared to to say no to the dompas - were fighting for a better life for all South Africans.

Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) president Letlapa Mphahlele was spot-on in his remembrance speech when he castigated the party's leadership for suffering from "an acute poverty of revolutionary values".

Thus in remembering the founding president of the PAC, Robert Sobukwe, Mphahlele reminded us all that "true revolutionaries give abundantly to the noble cause".

Making this democracy meaningful to all South Africa's citizens is the challenge that faces all of us.

This should be a starting point towards a South Africa with utmost respect for all its citizens.

That is the way to remember Sobukwe and Sharpeville.

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