Today, ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, the ActionSA Youth Advisory Council (YAC), and members of the Hector Pieterson and Mbuyisa Makhubu families commemorated Youth Day in Soweto – in honour of the class of 1976 who stood up against the apartheid government and laid down their lives for a free South Africa for all.
Like many South Africans, both the Pieterson and Makhubu families have been let down by the corrupt ANC government and its empty promises – watching in dismay as the ANC continues to rob South Africans, particularly the poorest of the poor.
In commemoration of the sacrifices made by the class of 1976, Mashaba and the families laid wreaths at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Mbuyisa Makhubu Primary School.
Lulu Pieterson and Nontsikelelo Makhubu, sisters to Hector Pieterson and Mbuyisa Makhubu, recounted how, despite their families’ contributions to the struggle for South African’s freedom, they too have never experienced the promise of a better life, which so many South Africans hoped would come after 1994. Instead, they have watched in dismay as the ANC continues to rob South Africans – particularly the poorest of the poor.
While the ANC has used the memory of both Hector Pietersen and Mbuyisa Makhubu for their own benefit and enrichment, the families have been left out in the cold. Like many South Africans, Lulu Pieterson is an unemployed single mother, living in an RDP house in Bram Fischerville, struggling to make ends meet. While the ANC government works to capitalise on the Pieterson’s name, no support has ever been provided to the family. Instead, the ANC has sought to parade the family at every June 16 commemoration, with little regard for their wellbeing. This is the same level of disregard which the ANC continues to serve South Africans across the country.
“Being an unemployed single mother, who goes to bed with hungry kids, not being able to provide for them or pay for their school fees and transportation to school, while the ANC government continues to loot in my brother’s name, really breaks my heart,” said Lulu Pieterson.
Indeed, the same disregard has been meted out to the Makhubu family. The Makhubu family, living a stone throw away from the Hector Pieterson’s Museum have also been systematically side-lined by the ANC. Nontsikelelo Makhubu, now a pensioner and the eldest remaining member of the family, continues to fight to have her brother returned to South Africa after he fled in 1976. Mbuyisa fled South Africa after apartheid police increasingly harassed him and his family following the international recognition of Nzima’s image as a symbol for the student uprisings.
In 2013, the South African government failed to repatriate a man – whom the family believe to be Mbuyisa Makhubu – detained in Canada for close to 17 years on immigration charges. It is the family’s belief that Mbuyisa suffers from mental illness and needs assistance. To date, the South African government has failed to help the family. Equally, the South African government has refused to repatriate the remains of Mbuyisa Makhubu’s father, Lawrence Wantini Makhubu, who also died in exile during apartheid.
“As a family, emotionally and mentally tired. We have knocked on every door but have received no help from the ANC,” says Nontsikelelo Makhubu.
Today, as we honour the class of 1976, young men and women who stood up against the apartheid government and laid down their lives for a dream that all South Africans could one day live prosperously, we know we have little to celebrate. The ANC government has killed the dream of a prosperous South African through their corruption, and young people have suffered the most. It is a crime that over 74% of young people in South Africa are unemployed and do not have the dignity of work.
If we are to truly honour the sacrifice of the class of 1976, we ALL must vote the ANC out in the coming elections.