ANC must honour unsung comrade who fell in Struggle 60 years ago

The reader is calling for the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa (here with struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni) to acknowledge the legacy and contribution of Jethro Shakung, whose contribution to the Struggle for freedom remains undocumented and unknown.
The reader is calling for the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa (here with struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni) to acknowledge the legacy and contribution of Jethro Shakung, whose contribution to the Struggle for freedom remains undocumented and unknown.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Now that the ANC has overwhelmingly won the elections the party under the capable leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa must make sure it never forgets where it comes from before it embarks on a journey forward.

I am saying this because there is one comrade who was one of the 1955 Rivonia trialists, whose contribution to the Struggle for freedom remains undocumented and unknown.

Even worse, he lies in an unmarked grave in his home village of Phokwane in Sekhukhune district, Limpopo.

His name is Jethro Shakung. During door-to-door campaigning, his family mentioned that the ANC has forgotten about them.

As the starting point to redeem the legacy of this fallen comrade, the party can start by erecting a tombstone in his memory. That could go a long way to appease the Shakung family.

We browsed the ANC files to check who Shakung was. We found that he lost his life at the height of the Struggle, in Johannesburg Central Prison.

Shakung was among the creme de la creme of the leaders of the Struggle. His fate in prison was decided in a cruel manner, by cold water poured on him. And because he was asthmatic, he succumbed to this method of torture.

I call on the ANC leadership to humble itself before the people, and visit the family. The party has forsaken them for over 60 years now.

Mothobe Ntsoane, Phokwane

X