Goodbye to sectarianism

THE government's decision to honour late student leader Tsietsi Mashinini by unveiling his statue at the Morris Isaacson High School on June 16 must be commended.

THE government's decision to honour late student leader Tsietsi Mashinini by unveiling his statue at the Morris Isaacson High School on June 16 must be commended.

Immortalising Mashinini through the statue will go a long way to preserving the memories of his generation of youth leaders.

Mashinini was a committed youth leader, who had a vision of the kind of society the majority of South Africans wanted.

He and his compatriots, including the late Khotso Seatlholo and Murphy Morobe, infused the youth of the 1970s with a revolutionary spirit that revolved around this country's liberation struggle.

There has always been questions about the ANC-led government's seeming unwillingness to honour those who did not share the party's ideology.

Mashinini was one of the founder members of the BC-aligned South African Students Movement, the organisation that mobilised the youth leading to the 1976 revolt.

While in exile, with Seatlholo, they formed the South African Youth Revolutionary Council, another BC-aligned formation.

Even if honouring him came 20 years after his death, we are hopeful that the move by the government is an indication that those in power are now prepared to break the shackles of sectarianism.

We also support the call by Mashinini's brother, Dee, for the government to do more when it comes to honouring leaders who spearheaded the 1976 student revolt against apartheid education. This must be done regardless of their political affiliation.

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