Make April freedom month

South Africa should declare April the month of freedom and sacrifice - and not only celebrate freedom but also the lives and sacrifices of our leaders who died in April.

South Africa should declare April the month of freedom and sacrifice - and not only celebrate freedom but also the lives and sacrifices of our leaders who died in April.

On April 27 1994 the first nonracial elections were held. On April 31 1961 the National Party, led by HF Verwoerd, CR Swart and BJ Voster, left the Commonwealth and declared South Africa a republic, excluding the black majority.

In April we witnessed the passing on of our esteemed leaders Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Zollie Malindi, General Andrew Masondo and General Sihle Mbongwa. Also in April we lost Chris Hani, Solomon Mahlangu and Chris Thandazani Ntuli, who was a member of the UDF and Natal Youth Congress .

History tells us that on April6 1652 the first white settlers arrived in the Cape, led by Jan Van Reebeeck.

In 1961, on April 30, Nelson Mandela wrote to HF Verwoerd proposing a national convention of representatives of all South Africans to draw up a nonracial constitution.

Verwoerd rejected this idea and instead banned the ANC, imprisoned our leaders and forced others into exile.

This proud history of April and its sad stories must be celebrated in dignity, not with what happened at the ANC Youth League congress in Mangaung, Free State, recently.

S'fiso Msibi, Mtubatuba

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