Honour for heroes

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Top liberation struggle icons, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Robert Sobukwe will be honoured during a ceremony to be attended by their families in parliament and Robben Island today.

Tambo, Mandela and Sisulu are regarded as the pillars and fathers of the ANC, while Sobukwe is the founding president of the PAC. Mandela, Sisulu and Sobukwe were imprisoned on Robben Island for decades by the apartheid government, while Tambo led the ANC throughout its years in exile until it was unbanned in 1990.

In a statement, parliament said yesterday that as part of Heritage Month celebrations, a special joint sitting of the national assembly and the national council of provinces will be held as tribute to Tambo, who would have turned 90 years this year. He died of cancer in 1992, two years prior to the first democratic elections in 1994.

The sitting will be followed by a remembrance ceremony at Robben Island, to be attended by the families of the four struggle icons. A plaque will be unveiled and family members will plant trees in honour of their fathers and husbands. One of the Rivonia trialists and former Robben Islander, Ahmed Kathrada, will brief the guests about life on the island during their incarceration.